Mindfulness Yoga for Children with Cerebral Palsy and their caregivers


Start / End Date:  2015

Chief Investigators

Ms Catherine Mak (Psychologist, Yoga Teacher and PhD scholar), Dr Koa Whittingham, Prof Roslyn Boyd and A/Prof Ross Cunnington

About the study

Although CP is primarily a physical disability, children with CP have an increased risk of experiencing cognitive difficulties, particularly attention and executive function deficits. This study will trial a holistic family centred mindfulness-based movement program using yoga techniques  to enhance child and caregiver outcomes for children with CP. The project includes a Randomised controlled trial to test the efficacy of MiYoga: A total of 45 child-parent dyads have been recruited and randomly assigned to either MiYoga or wait-list control. Outcomes of interest for children with CP include attention control, physical functioning, behavioural, self-perception and quality of life. For parents, the outcomes of interest are their ability to undertake mindful awareness, psychological flexibility, the parent-child relationship and quality of life. Participants received a brief neuropsychological report outlining the child’s cognitive functioning and highlighting their strengths and difficulties. Along with the report, families continue to receive general recommendations and tips on how parents can help their child develop and strengthen different cognitive abilities.

Summary of results

The MiYoga project has now completed recruitment and we are in the final stages of data collection and preparing for data analysis. The majority of the participants, both children and parents, have reported positive experiences with the MiYoga program: Parents and children have enjoyed the opportunity to take part, meet other families and learn some mindfulness and yoga techniques that can be incorporated into everyday life. Children reported that MiYoga was fun and relaxing while the parents reported that they enjoyed the mindfulness aspects of the program and noticed increased awareness in their everyday life. 

Data analysis for MiYoga is ongoing.


Catherine Mak, Ph: +61 7 3069 7356, E: c.mak@uq.edu.au