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Perceived benefits for informal caregivers after an 8-week yoga intervention for people with Parkinson’s disease

Alysha A. Walter, MS, CTRS, Marieke Van Puymbroeck, PhD, CTRS, FDRT, Brent L. Hawkins, PhD, LRT/CTRS, Kathleen Woschkolup, MD, Enrique Urrea-Mendoza, MD, Fredy J. Revilla, MD, Arlene A. Schmid, PhD, OTR


An informal caregiver (ICG) is a family member and/or friend who provides unpaid care to an individual with a disability or chronic disease. ICGs often put their healthcare second while caring for their loved ones; and this may lead to negative impacts on their well-being. ICGs attended an 8-week therapeutic yoga intervention for their care recipients with Parkinson’s disease. ICGs who participated in the yoga classes were assessed utilizing a retrospective pretest and traditional post-test to determine the presence of depressive symptoms and positive aspects of caregiving. Although the sample size was small, data revealed improvements in depressive symptoms and positive aspects of caregiving. Focus group and individual interview data revealed five qualitative categories: yoga engagement, relationship improvement, psychological improvements, functional improvements, and community engagement. Future research should expand participation of ICGs in yoga trials to determine the extent of changes in psychosocial well-being.


informal caregiver, yoga, Parkinson's disease, CAM, recreational therapy

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