An Evaluation of a Cognitive-Behavioral Patient Education Program for Persons with Parkinson’s Disease in Finland

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Abstract

A cognitive-behavioral patient education program (EduPark) for persons with Parkinson’s disease was evaluated in a controlled study, regarding its influence on the participants’ quality of life (QoL), depression and psychosocial well-being.

The program focused on the individual’s capacity to consciously modify his or her illness representations, supported activity and trained resilient coping. The treatment group consisted of 29 patients, who participated in the treatment consisting of 8 treatment sessions once a week. The control group included 23 patients. Both groups evaluated their QoL, depression, and psychosocial stress on two occasions 10 weeks apart. The treatment group also evaluated their mood throughout the program. Results showed improved social support for treatment group compared to a worsening for control group. General QoL remained stable for treatment group while it worsened for control group patients. No differences were found in psychosocial stress or depression. Results of the mood-measurements revealed elevated levels of mood after each session and progressively rising mood throughout the program. Most participants reported finding the program useful.

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