Clinical implementation study of the “Take a Breath” parent program

Why do we need this project? 

It is widely understood that chronic medical conditions (CMS) and congenital anomalies can have negative impacts upon the quality of life of the entire family. Carers of children with these conditions experience elevated levels of psychological distress and anxiety compared with those of healthy children, which can impact on the quality of life of the family, and the wellbeing and development of the unwell child. 

There is little research evaluating interventions to support carers to manage the at times overwhelming distress of supporting their child with a chronic illness. 

‘Take a Breath’ program 

The ‘Take A Breath’ (TAB) group program was developed as an intervention for parents with persistent symptoms of distress. It was designed to provide parents with the skills to manage the psychological challenges presented by their child’s illness, with the aim of preventing more serious long-term mental health difficulties. 

A recent randomised controlled trial was conducted with parents at the RCH, including parents of children admitted to the oncology or cardiology departments or the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) (Muscara et al., 2020). 

Research Team: 

  • Frank Muscara 
  • Maria McCarthy 
  • Vicki Anderson 
  • Jan Nicholson 

Acknowledgement of Country

Australian Aboriginal Flag
Progress Pride Flag
Torres Strait Islander Flag

At Mental Health Central we acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live, gather and work. We recognise their continuing connection to land, water and community. We pay respect to Elders past, present and emerging.

We acknowledge all people with a lived or living experience of mental ill-health and recovery. At the Campus, we particularly acknowledge children, young people, families, carers, and supporters. We recognise their vital contribution and value the courage of those who share this unique perspective for the purpose of learning and growing together to achieve better outcomes for the Campus, staff, sector, and all people of lived experience.

Proudly supported by the Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation