Mindfulness for Parent Carers of Children with Ichthyosis

We are inviting you to take part in an 8-week mindfulness course looking at reducing levels of stress associated with parenting a child with ichthyosis. We’re really interested in how this course could help you to better support your child, and assist with managing their skin condition. Mindfulness is based on Buddhist principles and has been found to improve wellbeing through reducing stress, blood pressure, and can help with anxiety, low mood, and depression. Mindfulness involves learning to pay attention to things more closely, being kinder to the self, and focussing your attention on the present moment. This is done with exercises like meditation and slow breathing to help you relax and calm down.
The course we are offering is called ‘Living in the Present’ and introduces mindfulness into daily life, instead of traditionally involving regular practices (the Present Courses, 2022). This was chosen with consideration of the associated pressures of caring for a child with ichthyosis, including attending appointments, managing treatment, and caring for siblings, which can result in carers having busy schedules and struggling to find time for mindfulness practice. By following the Living in the Present approach and incorporating mindfulness into daily routines, it may be more achievable. The course will be led by Tim Anfield (Mindful Families), a qualified mindfulness practitioner listed on The British Association of Mindfulness Based Approaches website. Living in the Present will be delivered online in 8 x 90-minute group sessions (once a week, in the evening), starting in September 2022. We are flexible with
timings, and open to feedback to schedule the course to group members’ preferences.

We will be looking at how effective Living in the Present is, so you will be asked to answer questionnaires measuring levels of parental stress, depression, anxiety, and quality of life. We will also send you daily text messages to measure your own bespoke targets that you would like to improve, and reduce. Although not directly involved in the mindfulness group, children will complete a questionnaire measuring quality of life. After the course finishes, you will be invited for a one-to-one online interview with Olivia Hughes, to discuss your experience of Living in the Present sessions. As a token of appreciation for taking part in this study, you will
receive a £20 ‘Love2Shop’ voucher. You will also have the opportunity to be included in a second research study next year, involving children with skin conditions testing an online mindfulness resource developed by Mindful Families called ‘Cool Cats.’
You are eligible to take part if:
• Your child is under 16 years of age and diagnosed with any form of ichthyosis.
• You are their adult parent(s)/primary caregiver(s) (18+ years of age). Two carers can participate (flexible and up to the carers to decide which carer/two takes part).
Interested? Email Olivia Hughes: [email protected] for more information, and to register for a place.