A1 Journal article (refereed)
Supporting parents of children with chronic conditions : a randomized controlled trial of web-based and self-help ACT interventions (2021)

Lappalainen, P., Pakkala, I., Strömmer, J., Sairanen, E., Kaipainen, K., & Lappalainen, R. (2021). Supporting parents of children with chronic conditions : a randomized controlled trial of web-based and self-help ACT interventions. Internet Interventions, 24, Article 100382. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.invent.2021.100382

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Lappalainen, Päivi; Pakkala, Inka; Strömmer, Juho; Sairanen, Essi; Kaipainen, Kirsikka; Lappalainen, Raimo

Journal or series: Internet Interventions

eISSN: 2214-7829

Publication year: 2021

Volume: 24

Article number: 100382

Publisher: Elsevier

Publication country: Netherlands

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.invent.2021.100382

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Open Access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/74710


Many parents of children with chronic conditions and developmental disabilities experience high rates of burnout and psychological distress. The aim of the current study was to examine the effects of two differently delivered interventions based on acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) on symptoms of burnout, depression, quality of life, psychological flexibility, and mindfulness skills.

A total of 110 parents of children aged 0.8 to 17 years with chronic conditions and developmental disabilities participated in a randomized controlled trial lasting 13 weeks with two intervention groups: (1) an iACT intervention, including three psychologist-led video conferencing sessions, and (2) a self-help ACT, which received self-help material: an ACT-based booklet with the possibility of using ACT-based online exercises.

For the main outcome measure burnout, a similar decrease was found in both groups. The supported iACT intervention produced significantly larger improvements in depressive symptoms (d = 0.49), psychological flexibility (d = 0.64), and mindfulness (d = 0.55) compared to the self-help ACT intervention. For health-related quality of life, only the dimension of role limitations caused by emotional problems showed a significant difference in favor of the supported iACT (d = 0.58).

The results suggest that the iACT intervention including three video conferencing sessions with a psychologist produced broader improvements in parents' psychological well-being than the self-help ACT. Overall, Internet-delivered interventions and video conferencing technology may offer a feasible alternative to psychological support and self-care for parents of children with chronic conditions. Further research is needed to investigate the long-term effects of the current delivery models.

Keywords: acceptance and commitment therapy; self-help (psychology); parents; children (family members); chronic diseases; exhaustion; video conferences

Free keywords: acceptance and commitment therapy; internet; self-help; parents of children with chronic conditions; burnout; video conferencing

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Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2021

JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2022-20-09 at 15:33