Specific results of the PD SELF Program were presented at the last two World Parkinson's Congresses and the Sydney International and Berlin Movement Disorders Congresses:
The results are very positive. At the 1-year follow-up, while physical functioning continued to worsen as is expected with Parkinson's, hope, anxiety, sleep and aspects of self-efficacy (e.g., ability to manage the disease) significantly improved. At the 4-year follow-up, despite continued decline in physical functioning, a number of psychosocial variables, including stress, anxiety, depression, and intrusiveness of illness improved. We also found that it helped people become active in the PD community, for example by participating in clinical trials.
These findings suggest that introducing, modeling, and supporting self-efficacy-enhancing skills contribute to improved self-efficacy and QoL and serve as an effective adjunct to clinical care for the newly diagnosed PWP and his or her care partner. Findings from the related pilot study suggest that there is a relationship between high levels of self-efficacy and maintaining and/or increasing these improvements over time.
This evidence also suggests that continued development and expansion of the program is warranted as we also develop broader research to assess the effectiveness of self-efficacy in meeting the longer-term challenges of Parkinson's, as well as its impact on potential disability in the future.