Most patients with
Parkinson's disease adopt a sedentary lifestyle because of the severe
disability imposed by the ailment. These people might benefit from physical
activity and exercise. Unfortunately, it remains unclear how to motivate
them to increase their level of physical activities. ParkFit, a multifaceted
behavioral change programme, attempted to do this. The programme failed to
increase the overall level of physical activities. But the study has brought to
light the possibility of an exercise based trial in disabled people.
Parkinson's disease is
also known as Parkinsonism, primary Parkinsonism, PD, hypokinetic rigid
syndrome/HRS, or paralysis agitans
. It is a
neurodegenerative disease of human central nervous system that is characterized
by non-motor symptoms such as depression and apathy.
designed the multifaceted behavioral change programme (ParkFit)
enhance the physical activity among the volunteers over a span of two years.
Around 586 sedentary volunteers with idiopathic Parkinson's disease aged
between 40 to 75 years with mild to moderate illness participated in it. Around
32 community hospitals in Netherlands were involved.
The outcomes of
ParkFit were contrasted with matched controlled interventions. Important points
such as level of fitness, quality of life and level of physical activity were
The key components of
ParkFit were: •
The volunteers were told about the benefits
of physical exercise. •
Physiotherapist should be consulted before
indulging in physical activity. •
Important elements of social cognitive
theory such as systematic goal setting with a health contract and log book,
encouragement to do group exercise, identifying potential barriers and means to
overcome them, encouraging physical activity, etc., were incorporated in the
ParkFit programme. •
Regular coaching and physiotherapy sessions
were held 19 to 14 times respectively during two years.
The conclusion drawn
from the above trail was that the ParkFit behavioural change programme did
not enhance the overall physical activity in patients with Parkinson's disease
as calculated with LAPAQ. The experts realized that further research work was
needed to increase the daily physical activity in Parkinson's disease affected
Promotion of physical activity and fitness in
sedentary patients with Parkinson's disease: randomized controlled trial;
Marlies van Nimwegan et al; BMJ 2013.