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The University of Southampton
Psychology

Research project: MIDAS

Currently Active: 
Yes

A group mindfulness intervention to help people with asthma

The focus of asthma treatment is on medication, usually with inhalers, and the response to poorly controlled asthma (PCA) is usually to increase medication. However, asthma is complex, affecting people in diverse ways, including effects on emotional state, concentration and self-management behavior. Having recurrent attacks of breathlessness can be frightening, and some may become anxious or depressed. Significant anxiety is six times as common in people with asthma, particularly when control is poor. Those with anxiety have worse outcomes, including more attacks, symptoms and quality of life impairment. Anxiety is often not discussed with doctors, so often untreated. The Department of Health has identified studies of psychological treatments in asthma as a research priority.

We plan to investigate the use of ‘mindfulness’ training for people with PCA and anxiety. This intervention focuses on managing bodily sensations in a calm and accepting way – with particular attention to breathing patterns. Mindfulness interventions have shown to help in anxiety, depression and chronic pain, but have had little attention in asthma.

Associated research themes

RPNI - Respiratory PsychoNeuroImmunology

Related research groups

Centre for Clinical and Community Applications of Health Psychology (CCCAHP)
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