Creating an economically viable exercise program for people with Parkinson’s Disease

Karla Gallagher

Parkinson’s disease(PD) is a progressive neurological disorder that effects voluntary movement control. There are approximately 100,000 people in Canada with PD and 11,000 in British Columbia.

Exercise has been shown to be effective at improving the motor and non-motor symptoms of PD. A recently developed novel Parkinson’s disease (PD) exercise intervention called LVST® BIG uses repetitive, large amplitude movement to improve both movement perception and amplitude, enhancing balance and functional mobility. However this program is delivered in one: one sessions 4 x/week for 4 weeks and therefore is not economically viable to deliver within the current healthcare climate.

This study investigates whether a group delivery model offered 2 x/week for 8 weeks can confer the same positive benefits as the individual treatment.

The benefit of delivering the exercise program in a group format is that costs are significantly reduced, making this program economically viable to be delivered in hospital and community programs. This exercise program could be a feasible option for an ongoing community based exercise program. Research has shown that continued exercise results in better health outcomes for people with Parkinson’s Disease and could create saving to the Canadian Healthcare system.

About Karla Gallagher:

Karla Gallagher completed her degree in Physiotherapy at the University of British Columbia in 2004 and is currently pursuing a master’s degree at University of Victoria. She works at the Seniors Outpatient Clinic at Vancouver Island Health Authority and at Olympic Physiotherapy.

Karla has her acupuncture certification through the Acupuncture Foundation of Canada Institute and post graduate training in manual therapy. Karla has a special interest in treating seniors. She has completed the Fallproof™ Balance and Mobility Specialist Instructor Certificate Program, through the Centre for Successful Aging at California State University. She has also completed the LVST BIG Training and Certification. The LVST BIG program is a specialized treatment for people with Parkinson’s Disease and other movement disorders.

2012 IdeaWave