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Parent and child experience of skin conditions: relevance for the provision of mindfulness-based interventions

Hughes, Olivia, Shelton, Katherine H. ORCID:, Penny, Helen and Thompson, Andrew R. ORCID: 2023. Parent and child experience of skin conditions: relevance for the provision of mindfulness-based interventions. British Journal of Dermatology 188 (4) , pp. 514-523. 10.1093/bjd/ljac129

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Background Managing a skin condition can be difficult, and there is a lack of psychological support for children and their families. Objectives The objectives of this study were to identify issues surrounding caring for a child with a skin condition, investigate experiences of current psychological support to gain a sense of what is needed, and determine the relevance of offering mindfulness-based interventions for children and families. Design This study employed a mixed inductive and deductive form of qualitative inquiry to understand children and families experiences and needs. Methods Twenty-three participants (n = 12 parents/carers, n = 11 female, n = 1 male), (n = 11 children, n = 6 female, n = 5 male, aged 8-11 years) were recruited with an advert posted on social media. In-depth data was collected from semi-structured interviews. Interviews were recorded, transcribed, and analysed with a descriptive form of thematic analysis. Results Systematic analysis of the data led to five themes being developed: (1) Caregiver burden of childhood skin conditions; (2) Skin condition overshadowing childhood; (3) Battling for recognition and lack of support; (4) Naturalistic use and understanding of mindfulness in everyday coping: and (5) Openness and relevance of offering a mindfulness-based interventions. Conclusions Living with a skin condition was reported as being associated with mood disturbance, with impacts on schooling, sleep, and daily life. Parents and children expressed a desire for short/accessible interventions that could fit with daily routines and might provide the opportunity to connect with other families. The findings indicate that mindfulness-based interventions may be likely to be accepted, as many participants had experience of using mindful techniques in school, and described that they were naturalistically using ‘mindfulness’ to manage itch and stress. However, the findings indicate that a number of misconceptions exist about the fundamental nature and aims of mindfulness. Addressing misconceptions related to mindfulness need to be considered when planning both future studies and service delivery.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN: 0007-0963
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 13 December 2022
Date of Acceptance: 10 December 2022
Last Modified: 08 May 2023 07:59

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