Barriers and Motivators to Engage in Exercise for Persons with Parkinson's Disease

J Parkinsons Dis. 2020;10(4):1293-1299. doi: 10.3233/JPD-202247.


Exercise is increasingly being recognized as a key element in the overall management of persons living with Parkinson's disease (PD) but various (disease-specific) barriers may impede even motivated patients to participate in regular exercise. We aimed to provide a comprehensive review of the various barriers and motivators for exercise in persons with PD. We scrutinized data on compliance-related factors published in cross-sectional studies, randomized controlled trials and reviews. We classified the barriers and motivators to exercise from a patient perspective according to the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health. We present an overview of the large range of potential motivators and barriers for exercise in persons with PD. Healthcare professionals should consider a wide and comprehensive range of factors, in order to identify which specific determinants matter most for each individual. Only when persons with PD are adequately motivated in a way that appeals to them and after all person-specific barriers have been tackled, we can begin to expect their long-term adherence to exercise. Such long-term compliance will be essential if exercise is to live up to its expectations, including the hope that prolonged engagement in regular exercise might help to modify the otherwise relentlessly progressive course of PD.

Keywords: Exercise; Parkinson’s disease; aged; attitude to health; motivation; self efficacy; wearable electronic devices.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Attitude to Health
  • Exercise Therapy*
  • Exercise* / physiology
  • Exercise* / psychology
  • Humans
  • Motivation* / physiology
  • Parkinson Disease / rehabilitation*
  • Patient Compliance* / psychology
  • Self Efficacy*