Scripties UMCG - Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
English | Nederlands

Mindfulness bij ouders als oppepper voor het immuunsysteem van kwakkelkleuters, een pilotstudie.

(2017) Weerink, N.J.

Introduction: The children that are the focus of this research are children aged 1 to 4 with repeating upper respiratory tract infections. These repetitive infections are a normal stage of early childhood and are relatively harmless. However, it has been found that especially the repetitiveness of the infections can be a cause of worry for parents. Worrying that leads to parents staying home from their work to take care of the sick children and repeatedly consultation of family doctors or paediatricians, both of which can cost a lot of time and money. We think that parental stress can have a maintaining role in upper respiratory tract infections. Our hypothesis is that parental stress can have an immunomodulating effect on this group of children and that parental stress reduction should have an ameliorating effect. Method: To achieve stress reduction, parents performed mindfulness exercises with their smartphones for 8 weeks. Stress levels were measured with questionnaires and salivary cortisol levels in the children. Questionnaires and salivary cortisol levels were measured at the start and at the end of the program. Furthermore, parents noted symptoms in a symptom diary. Results: A total of 6 patients were fully analysed, however this is not enough to draw strong conclusions. There seems to be a trend where mindfulness is effective at reducing stress levels in both parents and children. Additionally, there seems to be a trend that this stress reduction has a positive effect on this group of children. Discussion: Mindfulness seems to have a positive effect on children aged 1 to 4 with repetitive upper respiratory tract infections. However, the trends that might be seen can also, in part, be explained by the change of the seasons. To achieve more solid conclusions further, long term research needs to me performed, to characterize the effects of the changing seasons and to attain more data.

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