Gait training with progressive external auditory cueing in persons with Parkinson's disease

Matthew P Ford, Laurie A Malone, Ildiko Nyikos, Rama Yelisetty, C Scott Bickel
Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2010, 91 (8): 1255-61

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the progressively increasing external auditory cues during mobility training with persons with Parkinson's disease (PD).

DESIGN: Experimental.

SETTING: General community.

PARTICIPANTS: Convenience sample of persons with PD (N=12) who walked independently.

INTERVENTIONS: Gait training to external auditory cues was based on a participant's comfortable walking pace. Training external auditory cues rates were increased if patients were able to maintain or increase stride length with increasing external auditory cues rate. Movement synchronization was not monitored during training. Participants trained for 30min/session, 3 sessions/wk, for 8 weeks.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Walking velocity, stride length, and cadence.

RESULTS: Participants trained at a mean maximal rate of 157bpm. They showed a significant (P<.01) increase in walking velocity, stride length, and cadence after 8 weeks of training.

CONCLUSIONS: Walking velocity, stride length, and cadence can significantly improve when community-dwelling persons with PD participate in progressive mobility training.

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