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A research team conducted a Level III prospective, longitudinal study to examine the effect of a standardized rehabilitation program, consisting of regular exercise and movement strategies, on fall risk, mobility, hospitalization, and quality of life for individuals with idiopathic Parkinson’s disease (PD). Over 2 years, 15 participants attended weekly rehabilitation sessions during Year 1 and biweekly sessions during Year 2. The rehabilitation program was designed to improve cardiovascular fitness, strength, flexibility, balance, posture, and gait pattern. Using a pre- and posttest study design, the research team assessed participants at baseline and at Year 1 and Year 2 follow-up evaluations. Using the Tinetti fall risk assessment, the research team found significant fall risk reduction between baseline measures and Year 1 follow-up measures. The Parkinson’s Disease Questionnaire (PDQ-39) indicated a significant improvement in the following areas: quality of life, mobility, activities of daily living (ADLs), emotional well-being, social support, and communication. Year 1 follow-up analyses demonstrated an 80% decrease in hospital admission compared with baseline. On the contrary, Year 2 follow-up measures showed that the rehabilitation program had limited impact on the number of falls. In addition, at Year 2, the PDQ-39 only displayed improvements in mobility, gait-freezing ADLs, and communication. Last, the Year 2 follow-up only reported a 60% reduction in hospital admission, compared with 80% reduction in Year 1.


A product of the American Occupational Therapy Association's Evidence-based Literature Review Project.


Copyright © 2017 American Occupational Therapy Association. All Rights Reserved. Reproduced here with permission.

Publisher's Statement

Originally published as: Perez, A., Peterson, M., Jacala, R., & Li, K. (2017). Critically Appraised Paper for “Effect of physical exercise-movement strategies programme on mobility, falls, and quality of life in Parkinson's disease” International Journal Of Therapy & Rehabilitation, 19(2), 88-96. Bethesda, MD: American Occupational Therapy Association, Evidence-Based Practice Project.