Randomized cross-over trial to investigate the efficacy of a two-week physiotherapy programme with repetitive exercises of cueing to reduce the severity of freezing of gait in patients with Parkinson's disease

Clin Rehabil. 2014 Sep;28(9):902-11. doi: 10.1177/0269215514527299. Epub 2014 Apr 1.


Objective: To investigate the efficacy of a two-week programme of repetitive exercise with cueing and movement strategies upon freezing of gait in people with Parkinson's disease.

Design: Randomized cross-over trial.

Setting: Specialist clinic for Parkinson's disease.

Subjects: A total of 22 patients with Parkinson's disease and freezing while other symptoms had favorably responded to dopaminergic treatment.

Intervention: Patients were randomized into a four-week cross-over trial, and received either treatment (Group 1) or no treatment (Group 2) during Period 1, and switched during Period 2. Treatment consisted of a two-week programme during which the patients exercised cueing, and movement strategies together with a physiotherapist.

Main measure: The primary outcome measure was a freezing score assessed from blinded and random ratings of video recordings. The secondary outcome measure was a patient-reported freezing questionnaire. Mean differences between the treatment periods (treatment arms) were evaluated for treatment (period) effects. Sums of treatment periods were evaluated for carry-over effects.

Results: The programme led to a significant treatment effect in the freezing score of 3.0 improvement (95% confidence interval 0.9-5.0; p < 0.01). No carry-over or period effects were detected. The questionnaire revealed a period effect, so groups were compared after Period 1, where a significant difference was found (15.0 vs. 11.7; p < 0.05).

Conclusions: The two-week physiotherapy programme reduced the severity of freezing in patients with Parkinson's disease.

Keywords: Parkinson’s disease; Randomized cross-over trial; freezing; gait; physiotherapy.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Cues
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Gait Disorders, Neurologic / etiology
  • Gait Disorders, Neurologic / rehabilitation*
  • Germany
  • Humans
  • Levodopa / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Outpatients
  • Parkinson Disease / complications
  • Parkinson Disease / drug therapy
  • Parkinson Disease / rehabilitation*
  • Severity of Illness Index


  • Levodopa