THE EFFECT OF A HOME PHYSIOTHERAPY PROGRAM FOR PERSONS WITH PARKINSON'S DISEASE
Alice Nieuwboer, Willy De Weerdt, René Dom, Mieke Truyen, Luc Janssens, Yvo Kamsma
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of a home physiotherapy program for persons with Parkinson's disease. Thirty-three patients took part in the study using a within-subject controlled design. Functional activities including walking and carrying out transfers were measured at home and in the hospital before and after a 6-week baseline period, after 6 weeks home physiotherapy and after 3 months follow-up. Spatiotemporal and plantar force variables of gait were determined with video and pododynography. Treatment provided by community physiotherapists consisted of teaching cueing and conscious movement control 3 times a week. The study revealed that patients had significantly higher scores on a functional activity scale after treatment in the home setting and to a lesser degree in hospital, a result, which was partly sustained at follow-up. However, duration of the transfer movements, spatiotemporal and plantar force variables were not significantly improved except for stride length. The results support application and development of the treatment concept and highlight that physiotherapy aimed at improving function in Parkinson's disease is best provided in the home situation.
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