• depression;
  • family functioning;
  • intellectually disabled children;
  • mothers;
  • nursing;
  • psychosocial educational program

Aims and objectives

This study was conducted to examine the effect of psychosocial education provided to mothers with intellectually disabled children on the risk of depression and perception of family functioning in those mothers.


Families with intellectually disabled children need encouragement, support and training to more actively participate in their children's education and to positively affect their children's growth and development.


Randomised controlled study.


The study included the mothers of 75 intellectually disabled children (40 intervention, 35 control). The mothers in the intervention group who participated in a routine program at private education and rehabilitation centres attended four different psychosocial educational sessions. Sessions were conducted once a week for four weeks and lasted 120 minutes. The control group attended only the routine program of the private education and rehabilitation centre.


Our study results showed that after completion of the educational program, there was a greater decrease in the risk for depression in the intervention group when compared to the control group, and the former perceived their family functions better. These differences were statistically significant (p < 0·001).


The education given by nurses to mothers who have children with intellectual disabilities may be effective in reducing the risk for depression and in increasing the perception of healthy family functioning.

Relevance to clinical practice

Psychosocial nursing education program can contribute to the use of evidence-based education strategies in nursing practice to improve the mental health for mothers with intellectually disabled children.