The medical treatment of idiopathic Parkinson’s disease has improved the quality of life and increased survival of patients with Parkinson’s disease. However, as the illness progresses, impairments in daily living activities occur. A clinical trial for a group rehabilitation program was initiated to maintain the functional status of these patients.
The research protocol consisted of a pretreatment evaluation, random assignment to experimental or control groups, and posttreatment evaluations after therapy, at 6 months and at 1 year.
The results showed that the subjects of the treated experimental group maintained their functional status after 1 year, demonstrated a significant decrease of bradykinesia, and perceived a significant improvement in their psychological well-being.
This study confirms the value of an occupational therapy group approach and its benefits to the functional independence, to the improvement of physical and motor symptoms, and to the quality of life of persons with Parkinson’s disease.