Comparison of the effects of a self-supervised home exercise program with a physiotherapist-supervised exercise program on the motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease

Victor Lun, Nancy Pullan, Nancy Labelle, Corey Adams, Oksana Suchowersky
Movement Disorders: Official Journal of the Movement Disorder Society 2005, 20 (8): 971-5
The effects of a self-supervised home exercise program and a physiotherapist-supervised exercise program on motor symptoms in Parkinson's disease (PD) patients were compared in a prospective single-blinded clinical trial. Nineteen subjects (6 women, 13 men; mean age, 65 +/- 8 years) with Hoehn and Yahr Stages 2 to 3 were recruited. Subjects were self-selected into an 8-week exercise program that was self-supervised (HOME group) or physiotherapist-supervised (PT group). The primary outcome measurement was the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) Motor subsection score (UPDRSm). The secondary outcome measurements were the Berg Balance Scale, Timed Up and Go Test, UPDRS Total score, and the Activities-specific Balance Confidence Scale. All outcomes were assessed at baseline and at 8 and 16 weeks after the start of the study. The investigators were blinded to the subject treatment group. Bonferroni-corrected paired Student's t test was used to evaluate the change in the UPDRSm from baseline to 8 weeks. Ninety-five percent confidence intervals (CI) were calculated for the change in the secondary outcome measurements from baseline to 8 weeks. There was statistically significant and equal decrease in the UPDRSm from baseline to 8 weeks in both treatment groups. There was no difference in the 95% CI in the change of the secondary outcome measurements. A self-supervised exercise program was found to have similar effectiveness as a physiotherapist-supervised exercise program in improving motor symptoms in PD patients. This finding is important in the counseling of PD patients regarding adjunctive treatment of motor symptoms of PD with exercise.


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