Investigators/Authors: Darweesh Sirwan, Radboud University Medical Centre
Objective: To explore three specific gaps in our knowledge of allied therapy in order to understand the most effective usage for people with Parkinson’s.
Background: The social and economic burden caused by Parkinson’s disease (PD) is expected to rise substantially in the coming decades, emphasizing the need to widely implement treatment modalities that have been proven to be effective for persons with PD. Recently, community-based Allied Health Therapy (physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and speech-language therapy) delivered by specifically trained professionals has yielded beneficial effects on short-term functional outcomes in persons with PD.
Methods/Design: There are three key gaps in our present knowledge of allied therapy which hamper optimal and wider implementation of specialized Allied Health Therapy (AHT). This study will explore: 1) which patient subgroups are most likely to respond favorably to specialized AHT interventions; 2) whether parallel delivery of specialized therapy across multiple disciplines has additional benefits for patients; and 3) whether specialized Allied Health Therapy remains effective over longer periods (more than 5 years).
Relevance to Diagnosis/Treatment of Parkinson’s disease: This project will address these critical gaps in knowledge of Allied therapy, thereby paving the way for personalized rehabilitation for those persons with PD who need it most.