Mindfulness-based lifestyle programs for the self-management of Parkinson's disease in Australia.

Author: Vandenberg BE1, Advocat J2, Hassed C1, Hester J3, Enticott J1, Russell G2,4
Author Information:
1Department of General Practice, Monash University, Building 1, 270 Ferntree Gully Road, Notting Hill, VIC 3168 Australia.
2Southern Academic Primary Care Research Unit, Department of General Practice, Monash University, Building 1, 270 Ferntree Gully Road, Notting Hill, VIC 3168 Australia.
3Diabetes Victoria, 570 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000 Australia.
4CT Lamont Primary Health Care Research Centre, Department of Family Medicine, University of Ottawa, 43 Bruyère Avenue, Annex E, Ottawa ON K1N 5C6 Canada.
Conference/Journal: Health Promot Int.
Date published: 2018 Apr 11
Other: Special Notes: doi: 10.1093/heapro/day021. [Epub ahead of print] , Word Count: 243

Despite emerging evidence suggesting positive outcomes of mindfulness training for the self-management of other neurodegenerative diseases, limited research has explored its effect on the self-management of Parkinson's disease (PD). We aimed to characterize the experiences of individuals participating in a facilitated, group mindfulness-based lifestyle program for community living adults with Stage 2 PD and explore how the program influenced beliefs about self-management of their disease. Our longitudinal qualitative study was embedded within a randomized controlled trial exploring the impact of a 6-week mindfulness-based lifestyle program on patient-reported function. The study was set in Melbourne, Australia in 2012-2013. We conducted semi-structured interviews with participants before, immediately after, and 6 months following participation in the program. Sixteen participants were interviewed prior to commencing the program. Of these, 12 were interviewed shortly after its conclusion, and 9 interviewed at 6 months. Prior to the program, participants felt a lack of control over their illness. A desire for control and a need for alternative tools for managing the progression of PD motivated many to engage with the program. Following the program, where participants experienced an increase in mindfulness, many became more accepting of disease progression and reported improved social relationships and self-confidence in managing their disease. Mindfulness-based lifestyle programs have the potential for increasing both participants' sense of control over their reactions to disease symptoms as well as social connectedness. Community-based mindfulness training may provide participants with tools for self-managing a number of the consequences of Stage 2 PD.

PMID: 29659819 DOI: 10.1093/heapro/day021