Goal management training and psychoeducation / mindfulness for treatment of executive dysfunction in Parkinson's disease: A feasibility pilot trial.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


PLoS One, Volume 17, Issue 2, p.e0263108 (2022)


Aged, Caregivers, Cognitive Dysfunction, Executive Function, Feasibility Studies, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Goals, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Mindfulness, Parkinson Disease, Pilot Projects, Psychosocial Support Systems, Quality of Life, Random Allocation, Self Report, Single-Blind Method, Treatment Outcome


<p><b>INTRODUCTION: </b>As there is currently no pharmacological treatment for Parkinson's Disease Mild Cognitive Impairment (PD-MCI) with executive dysfunctions, specific cognitive interventions must be investigated. Most previous studies have tested bottom-up cognitive training programs but have not shown very good results.</p><p><b>OBJECTIVES: </b>The aim of this study was to test ease of implementation, differential safety and preliminary efficacy of two top-down (strategy-learning) home-based, individualized, cognitive interventions: Goal Management Training (GMT), adapted for PD-MCI (Adapted-GMT), and a psychoeducation program combined with mindfulness exercises (PSYCH-Mind).</p><p><b>METHODS: </b>This was a single-blind block-randomized between-group comparative study. Twelve PD-MCI with mild executive dysfunctions were divided in four blocks and randomly assigned to any of the two interventions. The participants were included if they had PD-MCI diagnosis (no dementia), with stabilized medication. Both groups (Adapted-GMT and PSYCH-mind) received five intervention sessions each lasting 60-90 minutes for five weeks. Measures were collected at baseline, mid-point, one-week, four-week and 12-week follow-ups. Executive functions were assessed with the Dysexecutive questionnaire (DEX) and the Zoo Map Test (ZMT). Quality of life (QoL) and psychiatric symptoms were also evaluated. Repeated measures ANCOVAs (mixed linear analysis) were applied to all outcomes.</p><p><b>RESULTS: </b>There was one drop out, and both interventions were feasible and acceptable. Despite the small sample size limiting statistical power, patients of both groups significantly improved executive functions per the DEX-patient (Time: F(4,36) = 2.96, p = 0.033, CI95%: 10.75-15.23) and DEX-caregiver scores (Time: F(4,36) = 6.02, p = 0.017, CI95%: 9.63-17.23). Both groups significantly made fewer errors between measurement times on the ZMT (Time: F(3,36) = 16.66, p = 0.001, CI95%: 1.07-2.93). However, QoL significantly increased only in PSYCH-Mind patients at four-week follow-up (interaction Time*Group: F(4,36) = 5.31, p = 0.002, CI95%: 15.33-25.61).</p><p><b>CONCLUSION: </b>Both interventions were easily implemented and proved to be safe. Because both interventions are arguably cost-effective, these pilot findings, although promising, need to be replicated in large samples.</p><p><b>CLINICALTRIALS.GOV IDENTIFIER: </b>NCT04636541.</p>

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