Mindfulness based programmes may be effective in producing lifestyle changes in adults with Prader-Willi syndrome


People with Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS) often have excessive appetite and a decreased calorific requirement owing to low energy expenditure levels. This very small study involved three people with PWS who took part in a long-term, multicomponent mindfulness-based health wellness programme aimed at reducing levels of obesity helping them to change their lifestyles. The components of the programme included physical exercise, food awareness, mindful eating, visualising and labelling hunger and a mindfulness procedure. This procedure was introduced to enable better self-control and to guard against eating between meals. The researchers found that as a result of the implementation of the programme, the participants reached their desired body weights. On follow at three years their bodyweights were maintained. The authors suggest that mindfulness-based health wellness programmes may be effective in producing sustained lifestyle changes, although they caution against drawing broader conclusions without further research as this was a small study. A Mindfulness-Based Health Wellness Program for Individuals With Prader-Willi Syndrome, Singh N et al, in Journal of Mental Health Research in Intellectual Disabilities Volume 4, Issue 2, 2011 90-106 Link to Prader-Willi syndrome association http://pwsa.co.uk/main.php

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John Northfield

After qualifying as a social worker, John worked in community learning disability teams before getting involved in a number of long-stay hospital closure programmes, working to develop individual plans for people moving into their own homes. He worked for BILD, helping to develop the Quality Network and was editorial lead for the NHS electronic library learning disabilities specialist collection. This led him to found the Learning Disabilities Elf site with Andre Tomlin as a way of making the evidence accessible to practitioners in health and social care. Most recently he has worked as part of Mencap's national quality team and also been involved in a number of national website developments, including the General Medical Council's learning disabilities site.

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