Treadmill training is used in rehabilitation and is described as improving gait parameters of patients with Parkinson's disease.
To assess the effectiveness of treadmill training in improving the gait of patients with Parkinson's disease and the acceptability and safety of this type of therapy.
We searched the Cochrane Movement Disorders Group Specialised Register (see Review Group details for more information) (last searched September 2014), Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (The Cochrane Library 2014, Issue 10), MEDLINE (1950 to September 2014), and EMBASE (1980 to September 2014). We also handsearched relevant conference proceedings, searched trials and research registers, and checked reference lists (last searched September 2014). We contacted trialists, experts and researchers in the field and manufacturers of commercial devices.
We included randomised controlled trials comparing treadmill training with no treadmill training in patients with Parkinson's disease.
Two review authors independently selected trials for inclusion, assessed trial quality and extracted data. We contacted the trialists for additional information. We analysed the results as mean differences (MDs) for continuous variables and relative risk differences (RD) for dichotomous variables.
We included 18 trials (633 participants) in this update of this review. Treadmill training improved gait speed (MD = 0.09 m/s; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.03 to 0.14; P = 0.001; I(2) = 24%; moderate quality of evidence), stride length (MD = 0.05 metres; 95% CI 0.01 to 0.09; P = 0.01; I(2) = 0%; low quality of evidence), but walking distance (MD = 48.9 metres; 95% CI -1.32 to 99.14; P = 0.06; I(2) = 91%; very low quality of evidence) and cadence did not improve (MD = 2.16 steps/minute; 95% CI -0.13 to 4.46; P = 0.07; I(2) = 28%; low quality of evidence) at the end of study. Treadmill training did not increase the risk of patients dropping out from intervention (RD = -0.02; 95% CI -0.06 to 0.02; P = 0.32; I(2) = 13%; moderate quality of evidence). Adverse events were not reported in included studies.