Therapy for Parkinson's
The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Neurology released a study on Tuesday which suggested that the current standard of care for early-stage Parkinson's patients may be a waste of time and money. The study said that both PT and OT offer "no improvement of quality of life" and that there were no "short or medium-term benefits."
A recent article on ADVANCE for Physical Therapy and Rehab Medicine claimed that, "Patients today are far more educated on the disease, have lots of questions, and know that physical therapy combined with prescribed exercises will impact their quality of life moving forward. Potentially, it could even slow the progression of the disease."
We shared the study with our Facebook fans via a Yahoo News article, and there seemed to be a united consensus: the study was misleading or misrepresentative of the role PT plays in the treatment of a patient with Parkinson's disease.
Here are some things PTs had to say:
"Treating injuries is not the main focus of any plan of care from a skilled PT that is treating someone with PD."
"That seems at odds with the multiple studies that have clearly shown how exercise and therapy benefit Parkinson's patients short- and long-term."
"If there was no progress or benefits for PD patients in this study, than the PTs may need a review of how to write functional goals."
"It depends on what the PT focuses on. Doing only strengthening exercises won't help. Focusing on balance, movement strategies, etc. does help. But, these have to be incorporated into daily life by the patient and family/caregiver."
Some fans pointed out the fact that balance exercises and range of motion were not part of the study, which many PTs consider their role to improve in a patient with Parkinson's. Some even argued the study was skewed because of biased healthcare providers.
What are your thoughts on the role of PT in cases of patients with Parkinson's? Let us know in the comments.