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MiYoga: a randomised controlled trial of a mindfulness movement programme based on hatha yoga principles for children with cerebral palsy: a study protocol
  1. Catherine Mak1,2,
  2. Koa Whittingham1,2,
  3. Ross Cunnington2,
  4. Roslyn N Boyd1
  1. 1 Queensland Cerebral Palsy and Rehabilitation Research Centre (QCPRRC), The University of Queensland Child Health Research Centre (UQ-CHRC), Faculty of Medicine, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  2. 2 School of Psychology, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Catherine Mak; c.mak{at}


Introduction Cerebral palsy (CP) is the most common childhood physical disability, with life-long impacts for 1.77 in 1000 children. Although CP is primarily a physical disability, children with CP have an increased risk of experiencing cognitive difficulties, particularly attention and executive function deficits. Impairment in cognitive abilities can lead to subsequent impairment in independent functioning, education, employment and interpersonal relationships. This paper reports the protocol of a randomised controlled trial of a novel family-centred lifestyle intervention based on mindfulness and hatha yoga principles (MiYoga). MiYoga aims to enhance child and parent outcomes for children with CP.

Methods and analysis The aim is to recruit 36 child-parent dyads (children aged 6–16 years; bilateral or unilateral CP; Gross Motor Function Classification System I–III), who will be randomly assigned to two groups: MiYoga and wait list control. The MiYoga programme will be facilitated in a group format for 8 weeks. Assessments will be administered at baseline, prior to MiYoga, following completion of MiYoga, and at 6-month follow-up (retention). The primary outcome will be the child’s sustained attentional ability as measured by the Conner’s Continuous Performance Test II. Other outcomes of interest for children with CP consists of attentional control, physical functioning, behavioural and well-being. For parents, the outcomes of interest are mindfulness, psychological flexibility and well-being. Data will be analysed using general linear models, specifically analysis of covariance and analysis of variance.

Ethics and dissemination Full ethical approval for this study has been obtained by the Children’s Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service Research Ethics Committee (HREC/12/QRCH/120) and The University of Queensland (2012000993). If MiYoga is proven effective, its dissemination would assist children with CP and complement their ongoing therapy by improving the ability of the child to pay attention at school and in therapy, and alleviating environmental stressors for both the child and his/her parents.

Trial registration number ACTRN12613000729729; Pre-results.

Date of trial registration Prospectively registered on 2 July 2013–present (ongoing).

Findings to date Recruitment is complete. Data are still being collected at present. We aim to complete data collection by February 2017.

  • cerebral palsy
  • children
  • adolescents
  • parent
  • caregiver
  • mindfulness
  • yoga
  • mindful movement
  • embodiment
  • attention
  • executive function
  • physical function
  • wellbeing

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  • Contributors CM is the chief investigator and together with KW and RB designed and established this research study. CM was responsible for ethics applications and reporting. CM was responsible for recruitment. CM was responsible for data collection and implementation of the training programme. CM will take lead roles on preparation for publications on the clinical outcomes of the study. KW, RB and RC will contribute to the preparation of publications within their respective fields of expertise. CM will take on a lead role of the statistical analysis for the study. CM drafted the final version of this manuscript. All authors critically reviewed and approved the final version. All data from this study will be submitted to peer-review journals. CM will use the data from this study to contribute to her PhD thesis.

  • Funding CM is a PhD scholar funded by The University of Queensland Research Scholarship. KW is a Postdoctoral Fellow funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC; grant number 631712). RB is a Research Fellow also funded by the NHMRC (grant number 1105038). This work was also supported by Merchant Charitable Foundation through Children’s Health Queensland.

  • Competing interests MiYoga was developed by first author.

  • Patient consent None.

  • Ethics approval Full ethical approval for this study has been obtained by the Behavioral and Social Sciences Ethical Review Committee of The University of Queensland (2012000993) and Children’s Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service Research Ethics Committee (HREC/12/QRCH/120). All families will be given written informed consent to participate and their parents or guardians prior to entering into the trial.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement In accordance with the protocol, the data of the study will be published.

  • Correction notice This article has been corrected since it first published. Several typos throughout the text have been corrected. These changes did not affect the data in the article.

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