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Research project: MOMA Investigating the feasibility of a mobile mindfulness-based digital intervention for patients with asthma

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Mindfulness is a type of meditation-based therapy that’s been used to treat a range of health conditions, including anxiety and depression.

In a previous study we looked at how acceptable a traditional mindfulness ‘short-course’ was to help patients with asthma. Patients liked mindfulness and felt it helped how they felt about their asthma, but attendance was low (perhaps because of the commitment of attending a weekly group). We want to see if ‘Headspace’, an online mindfulness-based ‘programme’ (app and website), can help. The Headspace programme takes 30 days of 10-minute practices that can be done whenever it’s convenient.

In this feasibility study we will mainly be looking at how many people want to take part, how many go on to take part and how many complete the process, but we will also look at how much mindfulness could help improve quality of life for people with asthma.

Questionnaires measuring mood and quality-of-life in 80 patients with asthma, will be used before and after using Headspace. Change in these patients will be compared to a control group of 40 patients who will receive their usual care from their GP team. Headspace have allowed free access to their intervention for everyone in the study (although the control group will only be given access after follow-up).

We will also call some participants to ask about their experiences of Headspace and the study, and how they think Headspace (and mindfulness more broadly) could help their asthma. This study will help us design an online programme specifically for people with asthma, to improve their quality of life beyond that offered by ‘pharmacological’ treatments such as new medication types, that we will test in a larger trial in the future.

Local Investigators: Dr Ben Ainsworth & Professor Mike Thomas

Trial Manager:
Megan Liddiard


Duration: October 2013 to March 2017




Related research groups

Primary Care, Population Sciences and Medical Education
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