Benefits of a Self-Management Program for the Couple Living With Parkinson’s Disease: A Pilot Study

Karen Lyons, Alex Zajack, Melissa Greer, Holly Chaimov, Nathan F. Dieckmann, Julie Carter

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    4 Scopus citations


    The goal of this pilot study was to explore health benefits for couples participating together in an existing community-based self-management workshop for Parkinson’s disease (PD). A quasi-experimental two-wave design explored the effects of the Strive to Thrive program in comparison to a wait-list control condition. Preliminary data (n = 39 couples) showed that spouses in the intervention group had greater engagement in mental relaxation techniques at 7 weeks than those in the control condition (large effect size). Small effects were observed for increases in aerobic activity and mental relaxation for the adult with PD, increases in strength-based activities and self-efficacy for spouses, declines in depressive symptoms for spouses, and decreases in protective buffering for both adults with PD and spouses. The program showed potential for existing community-based programs to benefit couples living with chronic illness.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)881-889
    Number of pages9
    JournalJournal of Applied Gerontology
    Issue number8
    StatePublished - Aug 2021


    • Parkinson’s
    • caregiving
    • dyadic coping
    • dyadic illness management
    • dyads
    • health behaviors

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Gerontology
    • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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