The mission of the Houston Area Parkinson Society is to improve the quality of life for those affected by Parkinson's disease through services, education and advocacy.

PD SELF (Self-Efficacy Learning Forum) is a national pilot program of the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation that offers an innovative approach to Parkinson’s disease management. It is based on the psychosocial theory of self-efficacy which is the confidence a person has in his or her ability to influence an outcome or be successful in achieving a result.

A central focus of PD SELF is to help newly diagnosed individuals and their care partners strengthen self-efficacy beliefs, thereby positively influencing the management of their disease and improve quality of life.

PD SELF was developed as part of a clinical trial by Diane Cook in 2013 and was sponsored by the Colorado Neurological Institute and in partnership with Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (PDF). HAPS has been chosen as one of ten sites to offer this program to the newly diagnosed Parkinson’s community. The PD SELF program was designed to be delivered by a team that includes a health care professional and a person with Parkinson’s who have been trained in the application of self-efficacy for Parkinson’s. The Houston team is represented by Kathleen Crist, LMSW and David Hyatt.

The program is conducted over nine consecutive months. Each monthly session presents a pre- determined module. Attendees will be provided with a PD SELF Curriculum Field Guide containing the curriculum content for each of the nine modules. Topics covered will include:

  • Diagnosis/Adjustment/Moving Forward
  • Assembling Your Health Care Team
  • Medications and Treatments
  • PT and Exercise
  • Nonmotor Symptoms
  • Integrative Medicine
  • Neuroplasticity
  • Relationships/Intimacy/Care Partners
  • Research/Clinical Trials/Getting Involved

Self-Efficacy: PD SELF is designed so that as a person with PD advances through the modules, they are gradually introduced to self-efficacy. Over the nine modules, they learn how to use the four modes of self-efficacy development to master their own relationship to Parkinson’s and assist others. The skills and behaviors learned include:

  • Setting goals
  • Self-monitoring
  • Keeping health care records
  • Communicating with your doctor
  • Establishing new routines
  • Overcoming obstacles
  • Problem solving
  • Reframing
  • Managing negative emotions
  • Realistic optimism
  • Resilience and tenacity
  • Interpreting medical news
  • Self-Advocacy

PD SELF is for individuals who have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s within the past three years and their care partners. The nine-month program, meets once a month in central Houston from 10:30 am – 1:00 pm with refreshments provided. Participants must be able to commit to attending at least eight of the nine sessions. There is no fee to attend. Space is limited to 35 participants and registration is required. Entry into this program is a multi-step process which includes an interest questionnaire, participating in an in-person or phone conversation, and is finalized by completing an online PD SELF registration form.

The initial pilot program registration is complete. Please check back for more information on future programs. If you would like more information, please contact Kathleen Crist, LMSW at 713-626- 7114, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or David Hyatt, 281-814- 6655. 

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