Mindfulness-Based Music and Songwriting: Pilot Data from a Novel Telehealth Intervention for Parents of Children with Disabilities
The Mindfulness-Based Music & Songwriting (MBMS) intervention is a novel 7-week telehealth program aimed at reducing stress in caregivers of children with developmental and intellectual disabilities. The intervention curriculum combines mindfulness principles with therapeutic music and songwriting and is taught by a certified Music Therapist (MT-BC) over seven one-hour sessions. Measures of stress, wellbeing, depression, and anxiety were taken at baseline, post- study, and at a 4-week follow-up. Measures of affect and connection to the therapist were taken immediately before and after each session. The preliminary review of this intervention includes three primary analyses: evaluating changes in multiple outcome variables across baseline, post- study, and 4-week follow-up; changes in affect and connection to the therapist across the intervention; and changes in affect and connection to the therapist within individual sessions. Preliminary results show significant increases in wellbeing and decreases in stress and depression across the study, as well as significant increases in affect and connection to the therapist across all sessions. Limitations include small sample size and potential impacts on stress due to COVID-19. Findings support the continuation of the program, implementation of a randomized control trial, and further analyses of affect regulation as a primary mechanism.