Background: Parkinson's disease (PD) is one of the most common neurodegenerative diseases. Patients suffer from a variety of motor and non-motor symptoms that severely affect their daily lives and quality of life. In many cases, a three-week inpatient Parkinson's complex treatment (MKP) can improve the overall condition and quality of life of patients in a short time. In the outpatient sector, however, there is often a lack of human resources and structures necessary for the interdisciplinary treatment of the disease. To support PD patients in continuing the physical exercises they learned from the MKP on a regular basis, a tablet-based training programme will be developed in which exercises can be adjusted to the patient's abilities. This programme is expected to increase quality of life and social participation, as well as delay the progression of the impairment.
Methods: a) Quasi-randomized, prospective longitudinal study (sequential study design). The intervention group receives a tablet-based training programme during and for 9 months after the MKP, and the control group receives treatment as usual. The evaluation is carried out by means of a written survey at three points in time (the beginning and end of the MKP and after 9 months). b) Qualitative analysis of interviews and focus groups in terms of feasibility and acceptance. c) Formative evaluation of the app and the administration panel. d) Evaluation of the implementation of the training programme by analysing the planned and performed physical activities, as well as evaluation of the phone calls between physiotherapists and patients.
Discussion: The tablet-based training programme can ensure continuous and long-term support for PD patients. They learn different self-management strategies during and after their MKP and are empowered to assume responsibility for carrying out regular physical activity on their own. Because common app stores have no scientifically evaluated apps for PD patients in the German language, the app can fill this gap and help PD patients receive high-quality care in the implementation of physically activating exercises regardless of their place of residence. In addition, the user-centred development of the app ensures that the app meets the specific needs of PD patients.
Trial registration: German Register of Clinical Trials, drks.de . Identifier: DRKS00014952. Registered on June 20th 2018. Date and version identifier April 25th 2019; version 1.
Keywords: App; Exercise; Parkinson’s disease; Participation; Physiotherapy; Quality of life; Tablet; Telemedicine.