The effects of incremental speed-dependent treadmill training on postural instability and fear of falling in Parkinson’s disease

Cakit, B. D., Saracoglu, M., Genc, H., Erdem, H. R., Inan, L.

The objective of this study was to detect the effectiveness of incremental speed-dependent treadmill training on postural instability, dynamic balance and fear of falling in patients with idiopathic Parkinson's disease.  Fifty-four patients with idiopathic Parkinson's disease in stage 2 or 3 of the Hoehn Yahr staging entered, and 31 patients (21 training, 10 control) had outcome data.  Twenty-one patients with Parkinson's disease participated in an eight-week exercise programme using incremental speed-dependent treadmill training. Before and after the training programme, balance, gait, fear of falling and walking distance and speed on treadmill were assessed in both Parkinson's disease groups.  The results showed that the Berg Balance Test, Dynamic Gait Index and Falls Efficacy Scale scores of the training group were improved significantly after the training programme. There was no significant improvement in any of the outcome measurements in the control group.  The authors conclude that specific exercise programmes using incremental speed-dependent treadmill training may improve mobility, reduce postural instability and fear of falling in patients with Parkinson's disease.

Clinical Rehabilitation, 2007, 21(8), 698-705

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