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"All in the same boat. The nightmare has gone and you're with other like-minded people". Psychosocial impact of participation in a holistic therapy programme for people with Parkinson's Disease, volunteer therapists and family members

Kagan, Carolyn and Loggenberg, Diane (2007) "All in the same boat. The nightmare has gone and you're with other like-minded people". Psychosocial impact of participation in a holistic therapy programme for people with Parkinson's Disease, volunteer therapists and family members. RIHSC.

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Abstract

A psychosocial evaluation of an annual Holistic Therapies Programme, consisting of ten different activities, for people with Parkinson’s Disease was undertaken with the following aims: 1. To gain information participants’ reported positive and negative experiences of different activities on offer during the holistic therapy week, in terms of their wellbeing (satisfaction and pleasure as well as personal development and growth); 2. To assess the extent to which gains in terms of quality of life, or wellbeing through participating in the in the week last over time; 3. To provide information that will lead to the enhancement of future holistic therapy weeks as well as the viability of holistic therapy programmes for use elsewhere. Different methods were used to collect information. These included Quality of Life (as measured by the PDQ39 scale measurements prior to and two months following the week and interviews and discussions with 30 people with Parkinson’s Disease, 18 carers or family members and 12 volunteer therapists. The quality of Life questionnaire failed to identify any changes in the quality of life domains of mobility; activities of daily living; emotional wellbeing; stigma social support; cognition; communication ; and bodily discomfort over time. However, other sources of information clearly identified positive impact on social, emotional, physical, leisure, and personal wellbeing. People with Parkinson’s Disease, their carers and volunteer therapists gained in terms of both satisfaction and personal challenge and development during the course of the week. They also experienced greater social inclusion during the course of the programme.

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