Multidisciplinary Intensive Rehabilitation Program for People with Parkinson’s Disease: Gaps between the Clinic and Real-World Mobility

Moriya Cohen, Talia Herman, Natalie Ganz, Inbal Badichi, Tanya Gurevich, Jeffrey M. Hausdorff*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Intensive rehabilitation programs improve motor and non-motor symptoms in people with Parkinson’s disease (PD), however, it is not known whether transfer to daily-living walking occurs. The effects of multidisciplinary-intensive-outpatient rehabilitation (MIOR) on gait and balance in the clinic and on everyday walking were examined. Forty-six (46) people with PD were evaluated before and after the intensive program. A 3D accelerometer placed on the lower back measured daily-living walking during the week before and after the intervention. Participants were also stratified into “responders” and “non-responders” based on daily-living-step-counts. After the intervention, gait and balance significantly improved, e.g., MiniBest scores (p < 0.001), dual-task gait speed increased (p = 0.016) and 6-minute walk distance increased (p < 0.001). Many improvements persisted after 3 months. In contrast, daily-living number of steps and gait quality features did not change in response to the intervention (p > 0.1). Only among the “responders”, a significant increase in daily-living number of steps was found (p < 0.001). These findings demonstrate that in people with PD improvements in the clinic do not necessarily carry over to daily-living walking. In a select group of people with PD, it is possible to ameliorate daily-living walking quality, potentially also reducing fall risk. Nevertheless, we speculate that self-management in people with PD is relatively poor; therefore, to maintain health and everyday walking abilities, actions such as long-term engaging in physical activity and preserving mobility may be needed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3806
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 2023


  • Parkinson’s disease
  • balance
  • gait
  • multidisciplinary rehabilitation
  • self-management
  • wearables


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