Efficacy of intensive multidisciplinary rehabilitation in Parkinson's disease: a randomised controlled study

J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2018 Aug;89(8):828-835. doi: 10.1136/jnnp-2017-316437. Epub 2018 Jan 10.


Objective: To evaluate whether a 4-week multidisciplinary, aerobic, motor-cognitive and intensive rehabilitation treatment (MIRT) improves the quality of life (QoL) of patients with Parkinson's disease (PD), in the short-term and long-term period.

Methods: This is a prospective, parallel-group, single-centre, single-blind, randomised clinical trial (ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02756676). 186 patients with PD, assigned to experimental group, underwent MIRT; conversely, 48 patients, assigned to control group, did not receive rehabilitation. Parkinson's Disease Questionnaire-39 was assessed 2 (T0), 10 (T1) and 18 (T2, only experimental group) weeks after the enrolment. We compared T1 versus T0 scores within subjects and delta scores (T1-T0) between subjects. To investigate the long-term effects, we compared T2 and T0 scores in the experimental group.

Results: At T0, no between-group differences in the Global Index Score (GBI) were observed (experimental group: 43.6±21.4, controls: 41.6±22.9, P=0.50). At T1, we did not find significant changes in controls (delta score: 1.2±9.9, P=0.23), and we found an improvement in GBI in the experimental group (delta score: -8.3±18.0, P<0.0001), significant also between subjects (P<0.0001). Comparing T2 versus T0 in the experimental group, the GBI maintained a significant improvement (delta score: -4.8±17.5, P<0.0001).

Conclusions: A rehabilitation treatment such as MIRT could improve QoL in patients with PD in the short-term and long-term period. Even though the single-blind design and the possible role of the placebo effect on the conclusive results must be considered as limitations of this study, the improvement in outcome measure, also maintained after a 3-month follow-up period, suggests the effectiveness of MIRT on the QoL.

Clinical trial registration: NCT02756676: Pre-results.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Exercise Therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parkinson Disease / rehabilitation*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Treatment Outcome

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT02756676