Physiotherapy versus placebo or no intervention in Parkinson's disease.Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012 Jul 11CD
Despite medical therapies and surgical interventions for Parkinson's disease (PD), patients develop progressive disability. The role of physiotherapy aims to maximise functional ability and minimise secondary complications through movement rehabilitation within a context of education and support for the whole person. The overall aim is to optimise independence, safety and well-being, thereby enhancing quality of life.
To assess the effectiveness of physiotherapy intervention compared with no intervention in patients with PD.
We identified relevant trials by electronic searches of numerous literature databases (e.g. MEDLINE, EMBASE) and trial registers, plus handsearching of major journals, abstract books, conference proceedings and reference lists of retrieved publications. The literature search included trials published up to end of December 2010.
Randomised controlled trials of physiotherapy intervention versus no physiotherapy intervention in patients with PD.
DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS
Two review authors independently extracted data from each article. We used standard meta-analysis methods to assess the effectiveness of physiotherapy intervention compared with no physiotherapy intervention. Trials were classified into the following intervention comparisons: general physiotherapy, exercise, treadmill training, cueing, dance and martial arts. We used tests for heterogeneity to assess for differences in treatment effect across these different physiotherapy interventions.
We identified 33 trials with 1518 participants. Compared with no-intervention, physiotherapy significantly improved the gait outcomes of velocity (mean difference 0.05 m/s, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.02 to 0.07, P = 0.0002), two- or six-minute walk test (16.40 m, CI: 1.90 to 30.90, P = 0.03) and step length (0.03 m, CI: 0 to 0.06, P = 0.04); functional mobility and balance outcomes of Timed Up & Go test (-0.61 s, CI: -1.06 to -0.17, P = 0.006), Functional Reach Test (2.16 cm, CI: 0.89 to 3.43, P = 0.0008) and Berg Balance Scale (3.36 points, CI: 1.91 to 4.81, P < 0.00001); and clinician-rated disability using the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) (total: -4.46 points, CI -7.16 to -1.75, P = 0.001; activities of daily living: -1.36, CI -2.41 to -0.30, P = 0.01; and motor: -4.09, CI: -5.59 to -2.59, P < 0.00001). There was no difference between arms in falls or patient-rated quality of life. Indirect comparisons of the different physiotherapy interventions found no evidence that the treatment effect differed across the physiotherapy interventions for any of the outcomes assessed.