by Anne Trueman on  April 11, 2013 at 11:19 AM Health Watch
Can Physical Activity be Promoted in Sedentary Patients with Parkinson's Disease?
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.

The scientists designed the multifaceted behavioral change programme (ParkFit), to 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 compared.

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 individuals.


Promotion of physical activity and fitness in sedentary patients with Parkinson's disease: randomized controlled trial; Marlies van Nimwegan et al; BMJ 2013.

Source: Medindia

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