Using mindfulness to improve quality of life in caregivers of individuals with intellectual disabilities and autism spectrum disorder

Singh, Nirbhay N., Lancioni, Giulio E., Medvedev, Oleg N., Hwang, Yoon-Suk, Myers, Rachel E., and Townshend, Kishani (2020) Using mindfulness to improve quality of life in caregivers of individuals with intellectual disabilities and autism spectrum disorder. International Journal Of Developmental Disabilities, 66 (5). pp. 370-380.

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Abstract

Objectives

Caring for individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID) or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can be gratifying as well as stressful. Professional staff employed as caregivers often report compromised mental and physical wellbeing due to the stressful nature of working with clients who exhibit aggressive and destructive behaviors. Prolonged work-related stress results in diminished quality of life for the caregivers. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the comparative effects of three programs-mindfulness program, psychoeducational program, and inservice training-as-usual-on the quality of life of professional caregivers who provide services to adolescent and adult clients with ID and ASD

Methods

Professional caregivers (N = 216) were randomized into three experimental conditions, and trained in mindfulness, psychoeducation, and inservice training-as-usual. The effects of the training on the caregivers' quality of life were assessed in terms of perceived stress, compassion satisfaction, compassion fatigue (i.e. burnout, secondary traumatic stress), and symptoms of depression at the end of 32 weeks of implementation.

Results

Perceived stress, burnout, and secondary traumatic stress decreased significantly in the mindfulness condition, followed by psychoeducation, but not in the inservice training-as-usual condition. Compassion satisfaction increased significantly in the mindfulness condition, followed by psychoeducation, but not in the inservice training-as-usual condition. Symptoms of depression, which were rated in the borderline clinical range prior to intervention, decreased significantly to within normal levels in the mindfulness condition, decreased minimally in the psychoeducation condition, and showed no change in the training-as usual condition.

Conclusions

A 3-day training in mindfulness meditations and associated contemplative practices provides a better basis for enhancing caregivers' quality of life than psychoeducation or inservice training-as-usual.

Item ID: 66155
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2047-3877
Keywords: Developmental disabilities, caregivers, MBPBS, mindfulness, psychoeducation, inservice training, stress, burnout
Copyright Information: © The British Society of Developmental Disabilities 2020
Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2020 08:08
FoR Codes: 52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5299 Other psychology > 529999 Other psychology not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2003 Provision of health and support services > 200305 Mental health services @ 100%
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