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Systematic Review

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Children with Special Health Care Needs and Their Parents: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

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Department of Paediatrics, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, ON M5G 1X8, Canada
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Child Health Evaluative Sciences, SickKids Research Institute, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, ON M5G 1X8, Canada
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Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON LS8 4L8, Canada
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Institute of Health, Policy, Management & Evaluation, Univeristy of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA
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The Nethersole School of Nursing, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong 999077, China
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Department of Pediatrics, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, Ottawa, ON K1H 8L1, Canada
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Divison of Neonatology, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, ON M4N 3M5, Canada
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Institute of Health, Policy, Management and Evaluation, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5T 3M6, Canada
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Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5T 1P7, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Paul B. Tchounwou and Chris Evans
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(15), 8205; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18158205
Received: 16 June 2021 / Revised: 28 July 2021 / Accepted: 31 July 2021 / Published: 3 August 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Resilience across the Life Span)
Context: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is an emerging treatment for improving psychological well-being. Objective: To summarize research evaluating the effects of ACT on psychological well-being in children with special health care needs (SHCN) and their parents. Data Sources: An electronic literature search was conducted in PubMed, Web of Science, Ovid/EMBASE and PsycINFO (January 2000–April 2021). Study Selection: Included were studies that assessed ACT in children with SHCN (ages 0–17y) and/or parents of children with SHCN and had a comparator group. Data Extraction: Descriptive data were synthesized and presented in a tabular format, and data on relevant outcomes (e.g., depressive symptoms, stress, avoidance and fusion) were used in the meta-analyses to explore the effectiveness of ACT (administered independently with no other psychological therapy) compared to no treatment. Results: Ten studies were identified (child (7) and parent (3)). In children with SHCN, ACT was more effective than no treatment at helping depressive symptoms (standardized mean difference [SMD] = −4.27, 95% CI: −5.20, −3.34; p < 0.001) and avoidance and fusion (SMD = −1.64, 95% CI: −3.24, −0.03; p = 0.05), but not stress. In parents of children with SHCN, ACT may help psychological inflexibility (SMD = −0.77, 95% CI: −1.07, −0.47; p < 0.01). Limitations: There was considerable statistical heterogeneity in three of the six meta-analyses. Conclusions: There is some evidence that ACT may help with depressive symptoms in children with SHCN and psychological inflexibility in their parents. Research on the efficacy of ACT for a variety of children with SHCN and their parents is especially limited, and future research is needed. View Full-Text
Keywords: acceptance and commitment therapy; children with special health care needs acceptance and commitment therapy; children with special health care needs
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MDPI and ACS Style

Parmar, A.; Esser, K.; Barreira, L.; Miller, D.; Morinis, L.; Chong, Y.-Y.; Smith, W.; Major, N.; Church, P.; Cohen, E.; Orkin, J. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Children with Special Health Care Needs and Their Parents: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 8205. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18158205

AMA Style

Parmar A, Esser K, Barreira L, Miller D, Morinis L, Chong Y-Y, Smith W, Major N, Church P, Cohen E, Orkin J. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Children with Special Health Care Needs and Their Parents: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(15):8205. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18158205

Chicago/Turabian Style

Parmar, Arpita, Kayla Esser, Lesley Barreira, Douglas Miller, Leora Morinis, Yuen-Yu Chong, Wanda Smith, Nathalie Major, Paige Church, Eyal Cohen, and Julia Orkin. 2021. "Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Children with Special Health Care Needs and Their Parents: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 15: 8205. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18158205

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