Background: Raising a child diagnosed with cerebral palsy (CP) is a major challenge for parents and may greatly change the family’s lifestyle. The present study aimed to investigate the effects of metacognitive therapy (MCT) and compassion-focused therapy (CFT) on anxiety in the mothers of children with cerebral palsy.
Methods: The research method was quasi-experimental with a pre-test, post-test, and follow-up design and a control group. Selected by convenience sampling, the sample consisted of 45 mothers of children with cerebral palsy who referred to Bahar Rehabilitation Center, Shiraz, Iran, in 2020. We randomly divided the participants into two experimental groups (metacognitive therapy and compassion-focused therapy) and a control group (n=15 per group). The research instrument included the Beck Anxiety Inventory. The first experimental group underwent 12 sessions (60-minute sessions per week) of metacognitive therapy and the second experimental group underwent eight sessions of compassion-focused therapy (60-minute sessions per week).
Results: The mean±SD of the anxiety for metacognitive therapy, compassion-focused therapy, and control groups in the posttest stage were 24.30±6.21, 25.10±2.44, and 42.70±4.46, respectively. Based on the results, both metacognitive therapy (MTC) and compassion-focused therapy (CFT) were effective in reducing anxiety in the mothers of children with cerebral palsy (CP) (P=0.0001); also, there was no significant difference between the effects of MCT and CFT on anxiety in this group of mothers.
Conclusion: Metacognitive therapy and compassion-focused therapy can be employed to reduce anxiety in mothers of children with cerebral palsy.