CBT for Anxiety Related to Parenting a Child with a Life-Limiting Neuromuscular Condition: A Single Case Study

Nicola Birdsey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (SciVal)


Caring for a child with a neuromuscular condition such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) presents many challenges, including managing the emotional impact of the diagnosis, managing extended periods of profound uncertainty, navigating the complexities of the healthcare system, managing the child’s physical symptoms, and supporting their emotional needs. Although it is encouraging that there is a growing body of research seeking to better understand the medical and treatment needs of those with DMD, the psychosocial needs of individuals and their families have traditionally been considered as ancillary to the child’s physical health needs. Consequently, there is limited research investigating the psychological wellbeing of those with DMD, and even less is known about the psychological wellbeing and needs of caregivers, who play a critical role in supporting their child. Caregivers experience multiple stressors and often encounter caring burden and high prevalence rates of anxiety and depression. This paper aims to explore the use of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for comorbid anxiety and low mood in a parent of a child with DMD using a single case design. Results suggest that in the context of multiple stressors and significant life events, CBT was effective in improving mood and reducing symptoms of anxiety. This case highlights the value in offering support to parents of children with DMD and may have clinical implications for other neuromuscular and life-limiting conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3
Pages (from-to)129-146
Number of pages18
JournalClinical Case Studies
Issue number2
Early online date14 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2021


  • CBT
  • anxiety
  • parent
  • neuromuscular condition
  • Duchene’s muscular dystrophy


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