A feasibility trial of a digital mindfulness-based intervention to improve asthma-related quality of life for primary care patients with asthma

Ben Ainsworth, Sabina Stanescu, Beth Stuart, Daniel Russell, Megan Liddiard, Ratko Djukanovic, Mike Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

Asthma outcomes remain suboptimal, despite effective pharmacotherapy. Psychological dysfunction (such as anxiety) is common, and associated with poorer outcomes. We evaluated a digital mindfulness programme as an intervention to improve asthma-related quality of life for primary care patients, in a prospectively registered randomized-controlled feasibility study. We offered ‘Headspace’, a widely-used digital mindfulness intervention, to adults with asthma through 16 UK GP practices. Participants were randomized on a 2:1 basis to the mindfulness intervention, or waitlist control. Participants completed questionnaires (including asthma symptom control, asthma-related quality of life, anxiety, depression) at baseline, 6-week and 3-month follow-up. 116 participants completed primary outcomes at 3-month follow-up: intervention 73 (79%), control 43 (84%). Compared to baseline, the intervention group but not the control group reported significantly improved asthma-related quality of life, with a between-group difference favoring the intervention group that was not significant (Mean difference = 0.15, 95%CI − 0.13 to 0.42). Intervention use varied (ranging from 0 to 192 times) but was generally high. Digital mindfulness interventions are feasible and acceptable adjunct treatments for mild and moderate asthma to target quality of life. Further research should adapt ‘generic’ mindfulness-based stress-reduction to maximize effectiveness for asthma, and validate our findings in a fully-powered randomized controlled trial.

Trial registration Prospectively registered: ISRCTN52212323.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133–147
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Behavioral Medicine
Volume45
Issue number1
Early online date27 Aug 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The study was supported by a research project grant from the NIHR School of Primary Care (FR13:373). During this project BA was supported by an NIHR Post-doctoral Translational Fellowship from the NIHR School of Primary Care. The funding body had no input into design, analysis or interpretation of data, nor any input into the manuscript. The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NIHR, MRC, the NHS or the Department of Health. Headspace Inc. provided free access to their intervention for participants in the study. They had no input into design, analysis or interpretation of data, nor the decision to submit for publication, although were asked to provide information for the manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).

Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • Asthma
  • Mindfulness
  • Primary care
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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