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A randomised controlled trial of an enhanced interdisciplinary community based group program for people with Parkinson’s disease: study rationale and protocol

Catherine Peters, Michelle Currin, Sara Tyson, Anthea Rogers, Susan Healy, Steven McPhail, Sandra G. Brauer, Kathy Heathcote, Tracy Comans

Authors information
  • Catherine Peters
    Community Rehabilitation Service, Metro South Health Service District, Queensland Health; School of Medicine, Griffith University, Australia.
  • Michelle Currin
    Community Rehabilitation Service, Metro South Health Service District, Queensland Health, Australia.
  • Sara Tyson
    Community Rehabilitation Service, Metro South Health Service District, Queensland Health, Australia.
  • Anthea Rogers
    Community Rehabilitation Service, Metro South Health Service District, Queensland Health, Australia.
  • Susan Healy
    Community Rehabilitation Service, Metro South Health Service District, Queensland Health, Australia.
  • Steven McPhail
    Centre for Functioning and Health Research, Queensland Health; School of Public Health, Queensland University of Technology, Australia.
  • Sandra G. Brauer
    School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, The University of Queensland, Australia.
  • Kathy Heathcote
    School of Medicine, Griffith University; University centre for Rural Health (North Coast), University of Sidney, Australia.
  • Tracy Comans
    School of Medicine, Griffith University; Griffith Health Institute, Griffith University, Australia. t.comans@griffith.edu.au

Abstract


Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive, chronic neurodegenerative disorder for which there is no known cure. Physical exercise programs may be used to assist with the physical management of PD. Several studies have demonstrated that community based physical therapy programs are effective in reducing physical aspects of disability among people with PD. While multidisciplinary therapy interventions may have the potential to reduce disability and improve the quality of life of people with PD, there is very limited clinical trial evidence to support or refute the use of a community based multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary programs for people with PD. A two group randomized trial is being undertaken within a community rehabilitation service in Brisbane, Australia. Community dwelling adults with a diagnosis of Idiopathic Parkinson’s disease are being recruited. Eligible participants are randomly allocated to a standard exercise rehabilitation group program or an intervention group which incorporates physical, cognitive and speech activities in a multi-tasking framework. Outcomes will be measured at 6-week intervals for a period of six months. Primary outcome measures are the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) and the Timed Up and Go (TUG) cognitive test. Secondary outcomes include changes in health related quality of life, communication, social participation, mobility, strength and balance, and carer burden measures. This study will determine the immediate and long-term effectiveness of a unique multifocal, interdisciplinary, dual-tasking approach to the management of PD as compared to an exercise only program. We anticipate that the results of this study will have implications for the development of cost effective evidence based best practice for the treatment of people with PD living in the community.

Keywords


Parkinson’s disease, rehabilitation, clinical protocol, allied health

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Submitted: 2011-11-01 05:23:19
Published: 2012-03-26 14:36:00
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