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Short- and Long-Term Efficacy of Intensive Rehabilitation Treatment on Balance and Gait in Parkinsonian Patients: A Preliminary Study with a 1-Year Followup

Parkinson s Disease
Hindawi Publishing Corporation
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1155/2013/583278
  • Clinical Study
  • Biology
  • Medicine
  • Pharmacology


Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disease in which gait and balance disturbances are relevant symptoms that respond poorly to pharmacological treatment. The aim of this study was to investigate whether a 4-week inpatient multidisciplinary intensive rehabilitation treatment (MIRT) is effective in improving balance and gait and whether improvements persist at a one-year followup. We studied 20 PD inpatients (stage 3 Hoehn-Yahr) who underwent a MIRT. Outcome measures were UPDRS items for balance (30), falls (13), and walk (29), Berg Balance Scale, six-minute walking test, Timed Up and Go Test, and Comfortable-Fast gait speeds. Patients were evaluated at admission, at the end of the 4-week treatment, and at a 1-year followup. Pharmacological therapy was unchanged during MIRT and follow-up. All outcome measures improved significantly at the end of treatment. At 1-year follow-up control, UPDRS walk and Comfortable-Fast gait speeds still maintained better values with respect to admission (P = 0.009, P = 0.03, and P = 0.02, resp.), while the remaining scales did not differ significantly. Our results demonstrate that the MIRT was effective in improving balance and gait and that the improvement in gait performances was partially maintained also after 1 year.

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