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A randomized controlled trial on the effects and acceptability of individual mindfulness techniques – meditation and yoga – on anxiety and depression in people with Parkinson’s disease: a study protocol

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Richard Walker



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2023, The Author(s).Background: Between 40 and 50% of patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) experience anxiety and depression, associated with impaired physical function, high care dependency and mortality. Recently, the United States National Institutes of Health has urged the implementation of mindfulness practices in chronic illness care. Most research to date has examined the effects on chronically ill patients of complex interventions using a combination of mindfulness techniques. In PD patients, however, such complex modalities appear to hinder the technique mastery. Hence, the aim of this trial is to investigate the effects and underlying mechanism of individual mindfulness techniques among PD patients, as well as exploring participants’ experience in using individual mindfulness techniques as a lifestyle intervention for stress and symptom management. Methods: We will conduct an assessor-blind three-arm randomized waitlist-controlled trial with a descriptive qualitative evaluation. Up to 168 PD patients will be recruited from community settings and out-patient clinics, and randomized to meditation, yoga, or usual care group. Meditation and yoga sessions of 90-minute are held weekly for 8 weeks. Primary outcomes include anxiety and depression. Secondary outcomes include PD-related motor and non-motor symptoms and quality-of-life; and level of mindfulness and biomarkers of stress and inflammatory responses will be measured as mediating variables. All outcome evaluations will be assessed at baseline, 8 weeks, and 24 weeks. Following the intention-to-treat principle, generalized estimating equation models and path analysis will be used to identify the treatment effects and the mediating mechanisms. A subsample of 30 participants from each intervention group will be invited for qualitative interviews. Discussion: The study would also generate important insights to enhance the patients’ adaptation to debilitating disease. More specifically, symptom management and stress adaptation are highly prioritized healthcare agenda in managing PD. The research evidence will further inform the development of community-based, nurse-led compassionate care models for neurodegenerative conditions, which is complementary to existing health services. Trial registration: WHO Primary Registry – Chinese Clinical Trials Registry number: ChiCTR2100045939; registered on 2021/04/29 (

Publication metadata

Author(s): Kwok JYY, Auyeung M, Pang SYY, Ho PWL, Yu DSF, Fong DYT, Lin C-C, Walker R, Wong SY-S, Ho RTH

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies

Year: 2023

Volume: 23

Issue: 1

Online publication date: 17/07/2023

Acceptance date: 21/06/2023

Date deposited: 08/08/2023

ISSN (electronic): 2662-7671

Publisher: BioMed Central Ltd


DOI: 10.1186/s12906-023-04049-x

PubMed id: 37461018


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Funder referenceFunder name
Research Grants Council, Hong Kong