Analysis of the Results of Application of the Rational-Emotive Behaviour Therapy for Mothers of Newborns with Hypoxic Affection of the Central Nervous System



Parents of hospitalized newborns tend to experience more severe psychological distress. Rel- evant to this is the impact on the specific irrational beliefs of mothers for the purpose of improving adaptation to the life situation. It is necessary to study the possibilities of cognitive- behavioral methods of intervention in working with this client category. The objective of this work is to study the dynamics of distress indicators in mothers of newborns with hypoxic affection of the central nervous system (CNS) in the process of the program developed on the basis of rational-emotive behaviour therapy (REBT). The study included 98 mothers of newborns with hypoxic affection of CNS. Based on the results of a semi-structured inter- view, 80 mothers were identified with a dysfunctional type of response to a life situation. The intervention group (N=50) received 8 REBT sessions for three weeks. The main target for psychotherapy was irrational beliefs, which underlie negative emotions and non-constructive ways coping with stress caused by hospitalization and facing information on the condition and developmental prognosis of a newborn. The control group (N=30) received one consul- tation session. To assess the dynamics of distress indicators, the Integrative Anxiety Test and Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale were used before and after the program in the intervention group and with an interval of three weeks in the control group. In the intervention group, the indicators of depression, situational anxiety, emotional discomfort and the phobic component of anxiety decreased. In the control group, the indicators of situational anxiety and asthenic component of anxiety decreased. In comparison with the control group, the mothers in the intervention group showed more significant positive changes. The programs developed on the basis of REBT have moderate efficacy in reduction of the distress in mothers of newborns with hypoxic affection of CNS.

General Information

Keywords: mothers, newborns, hypoxic affection of the central nervous system, distress, rational-emotive behaviour therapy, effectiveness of psychotherapy

Journal rubric: Empirical and Experimental Research

Article type: scientific article


Funding. The study was supported by a grant from the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (project no. 19-013-00450 A).

For citation: Mamaychuk I.I., Milanich Y.M. Analysis of the Results of Application of the Rational-Emotive Behaviour Therapy for Mothers of Newborns with Hypoxic Affection of the Central Nervous System. Vestnik of Saint Petersburg University. Psychology, 2022. Vol. 12, no. 3, pp. 376–390. DOI: 10.21638/spbu16.2022.309. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Irina I. Mamaychuk, Doctor of Psychology, Professor, St. Petersburg State University, St.Petersburg, Russia, e-mail:

Yulia M. Milanich, PhD in Psychology, Senior Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Department of Medical Psychology and Psychophysiology, Saint Petersburg State University, St.Petersburg, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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