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Specialist rehabilitation for people with Parkinson's disease in the community: a randomized controlled trial

Gage, H, Grainger, L, Ting, S, Williams, P, Chorley, C, Carey, G, Borg, N, Bryan, K, Castleton, B, Trend, P , Kaye, J, Jordan, J and Wade, D (2014) Specialist rehabilitation for people with Parkinson's disease in the community: a randomized controlled trial Health Services and Delivery Research, 2 (51).

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Multidisciplinary rehabilitation is recommended for Parkinson's disease, but evidence suggests that benefit is not sustained.


(1) Implement a specialist domiciliary rehabilitation service for people with Parkinson's and carers. (2) Provide continuing support from trained care assistants to half receiving the rehabilitation. (3) Evaluate the clinical effectiveness of the service, and the value added by the care assistants, compared with usual care. (4) Assess the costs of the interventions. (5) Investigate the acceptability of the service. (6) Deliver guidance for commissioners.


Pragmatic three-parallel group randomised controlled trial.


Community, county of Surrey, England, 2010–11.


People with Parkinson's, at all stages of the disease, and live-in carers.


Groups A and B received specialist rehabilitation from a multidisciplinary team (MDT) – comprising Parkinson's nurse specialists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, and speech and language therapists – delivered at home, tailored to individual needs, over 6 weeks (about 9 hours’ individual therapy per patient). In addition to the MDT, participants in group B received ongoing support for a further 4 months from a care assistant trained in Parkinson's (PCA), embedded in the MDT (1 hour per week per patient). Participants in control group (C) received care as usual (no co-ordinated MDT or ongoing support).

Main outcome measures

Follow-up assessments were conducted in participants’ homes at 6, 24 and 36 weeks after baseline. Primary outcomes: Self-Assessment Parkinson's Disease Disability Scale (patients); the Modified Caregiver Strain Index (carers). Secondary outcomes included: for patients, disease-specific and generic health-related quality of life, psychological well-being, self-efficacy, mobility, falls and speech; for carers, strain, stress, health-related quality of life, psychological well-being and functioning.


A total of 306 people with Parkinson's (and 182 live-in carers) were randomised [group A, n = 102 (n = 61); group B, n = 101 (n = 60); group C, n = 103 (n = 61)], of whom 269 (155) were analysed at baseline, pilot cohort excluded. Attrition occurred at all stages. A per-protocol analysis [people with Parkinson's, n = 227 (live-in carers, n = 125)] [group A, n = 75 (n = 45); group B, n = 69 (n = 37); group C, n = 83 (n = 43)] showed that, at the end of the MDT intervention, people with Parkinson's in groups A and B, compared with group C, had reduced anxiety (p = 0.02); their carers had improved psychological well-being (p = 0.02). People with Parkinson's in groups A and B also had marginally reduced disability (primary outcome, p = 0.09), and improved non-motor symptoms (p = 0.06) and health-related quality of life (p = 0.07), compared with C. There were significant differences in change scores between week 6 (end of MDT) and week 24 (end of PCA for group B) in favour of group B, owing to worsening in group A (no PCA support) in posture (p = 0.001); non-motor symptoms (p = 0.05); health-related quality of life (p = 0.07); and self-efficacy (p = 0.09). Carers in group B (vs. group A) reported a tendency for reduced strain (p = 0.06). At 36 weeks post recruitment, 3 months after the end of PCA support for group B, there were few differences between the groups. Participants reported learning about Parkinson's, and valued individual attention. The MDT cost £833; PCA support was £600 extra, per patient (2011 Great British pounds).


Further research is needed into ways of sustaining benefits from rehabilitation including the use of care assistants.

Item Type: Article
Subjects : Economics
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Biosciences and Medicine
Authors :
Ting, S
Chorley, C
Carey, G
Borg, N
Bryan, K
Castleton, B
Trend, P
Kaye, J
Wade, D
Date : 1 December 2014
Funders : National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), South East Coast Dementias and Neurodegenerative Disease Research Network (DeNDRoN), NHS South East Coast
DOI : 10.3310/hsdr02510
Grant Title : Services and Delivery Research programme
Copyright Disclaimer : Copyright © Queen’s Printer and Controller of HMSO 2014. This work was produced by Gage et al. under the terms of a commissioning contract issued by the Secretary of State for Health. This issue may be freely reproduced for the purposes of private research and study and extracts (or indeed, the full report) may be included in professional journals provided that suitable acknowledgement is made and the reproduction is not associated with any form of advertising. Applications for commercial reproduction should be addressed to: NIHR Journals Library, National Institute for Health Research, Evaluation, Trials and Studies Coordinating Centre, Alpha House, University of Southampton Science Park, Southampton SO16 7NS, UK.
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 12 Aug 2016 10:47
Last Modified : 30 Sep 2019 11:02

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