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Kalhori A, Sharifidramadi P, Ghobari Bonab B, kazemi F, Farrokhi N A. Developing and Validating the Islamic-Iranian Based Mindfulness Intervention and Investigating its Effect on the Mental Health of Mothers of Children with Autism. MEJDS. 2020; 10 :85-85
URL: http://jdisabilstud.org/article-1-1931-en.html
1- Department of Psychology & Education of Exceptional Children, Faculty of Education and Psychology, Allameh Tabataba'i University
2- Department of Psychology and Education of Exceptional Children, Faculty of Education and Psychology, University of Tehran
3- Department of Deliberation and Measuring, Faculty of Education and Psychology, Allameh Tabataba'i University
Abstract:   (1124 Views)
Background & Objectives: Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental condition. ASD is characterized by impairments in social interaction and communication across multiple contexts as well as the presence of repetitive and stereotyped behaviors. Autism could be diagnosed at any age; however, it is considered to be a developmental disorder. This is because symptoms generally present in the first two years of life. Children with autism may manifest abnormal affective responses to individuals. Such conduct may impair their ability to form healthy social relationships. Among numerous threatening life events, those characterized by their magnitude, intensity, duration, and unpredictability tend to constitute the most stressful situations. Reflecting this emphasis, recent literature concerning autism has focused on assessing and analyzing parental stress in the families of children with disabilities. Increasing evidence suggests that the presence of a child with autism has a particularly pervasive stressful effect (directly and indirectly affecting various aspects) on the family members’ lives. Problems of caring for children with autism, including stress, anxiety, and depression adversely impact their parents’ mental health. The main responsibility of such care is on the mothers; as a result, their mental health is impacted more than fathers or other family members. Accordingly, implementing effective therapy is necessary for these mothers. A major issue in psychotherapy is cultural differences. Thus, developing culture–based therapies could be more effective in specific groups. Therefore, this study aimed at developing and validating the Islamic–Iranian based mindfulness intervention and investigating its effect on the mental health of the mothers of children with autism. 
Methods: This was an experimental study with a pretest–posttest and a control group design. The study population consisted of all the mothers of children with autism in Tehran City, Iran, in 2019. The sample consisted of 36 mothers of children with autism (n=18/group). The study subjects were selected by convenience sampling method. Then, they were randomly assigned to the test and control groups. Next, the experimental group participated in eight 70–minute sessions of Islamic–Iranian based mindfulness intervention; however, the control group received no intervention. The data collection instruments included the 28–Item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ). The GHQ is a screening device for identifying minor psychiatric disorders in the general population and within the community or non–psychiatric clinical settings, such as primary care or general medical out–patient centers. Suitable for all ages from adolescent upwards (but not children), it assesses the respondent’s current state and assesses if that differs from their usual conditions. It is therefore sensitive to short–term psychiatric disorders, but not too long–standing attributes of the respondent. Moreover, the obtained data were analyzed using SPSS and repeated–measures Analysis of Variance (ANOVA). 
Results: The current research results indicated that the provided mindfulness intervention significantly impacted mental health (p<0.001), in terms of anxiety, depression, and social function; however, but this intervention had no impact on the physiologic subscale. Additionally, the obtained results remained stable in the follow–up stage. 
Conclusion: Based on the findings of this study, the presented Islamic–Iranian based mindfulness intervention improved mental health among the investigated mothers of children with autism. Thus, it is a promising approach in clinical interventions and could be used as an effective interventional method.  Accordingly, this intervention seems to be an applicable treatment for the mothers of children with autism.
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Type of Study: Original Research Article | Subject: Psychology
Received: 2020/02/23 | Accepted: 2020/04/28

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