Objective: To evaluate the effect of a group education program with personal rehabilitation for idiopathic Parkinson's disease (IPD).
Methods: A single-blind, randomized, controlled clinical trial, with a pre-test/post-test quasi-experimental design. Forty-four stable, non-demented patients with IPD were randomly assigned to an intervention group (n=23) and control group (n=21). Three group lectures on health education specific to IPD were delivered to the intervention group. The theme of lectures was "Not a lonely journey, as your friend, we---experts specializing in IPD---would love to join with you". Three domains of the management of IPD were mentioned: "How to manage your routine Meal, Moving and Mood after suffering from IPD" Each lecture was scheduled for 45 minutes (excluding breaks), and designed as an interactive dialogue rather than a traditional lecture. To strengthen the impact of the lectures, relevant information was published on a website: http://www.parkinsonism.cn/. Following the group lecture, individualized and tailored rehabilitation made up of 24 half-hour sessions over eight weeks were provided for the intervention group.
Results: The program ran smoothly and IPD patients were satisfied with this program. After only eight weeks, the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in the intervention group improved significantly (p<0.001). Patients and their caregivers in this group also reported their mood elevations following the program.
Conclusion: Group education combined with personal rehabilitation program appears to be a beneficial and practical intervention, not only complementing the medical treatment for IPD patients but also meeting the growing demand for long-term care.