Community Classes for Parkinson Disease
Created by Kenzie Owens, SPT
My work in Health and Wellness and Evidence Based Practice II (EBP II) led me to consider the benefits of community exercise classes for those with Parkinson Disease. In the Health and Wellness course, I wrote my program proposal for a dance class combined with strength training to address falls risk in those with Parkinson disease. The statement of need and further background information on this patient population can also be found in the program proposal. I completed my Critically Appraised Topic (CAT) in EBP II on a clinical question comparing the effectiveness of dance to balance exercises in decreasing the falls risk of an older adult patient with Parkinson Disease. This older adult patient is my grandfather and my motivation behind this project. The report I completed for the Motor Learning and Motor Control course contains additional information about his case and community exercise of interest.
Project Overview and Products
After completing my CAT, I was interested to learn about the benefits that community exercise classes may provide those with Parkinson Disease. I reviewed the literature to determine the benefits of dance, LSVT BIG, and boxing for those with Parkinson Disease. As my last rotation is in inpatient rehabilitation at Roper, I wanted to additionally determine the location of these classes in the community and provide this information to patients in a brochure.
In addition to the patient brochure, I created a handout for the physical therapists at Roper. This handout assumes a therapist education level and includes answers to questions the patient may have in addition to the benefits of dance, LSVT BIG, and boxing and the locations of these classes. My hope is that these materials will increase long-term participation in community exercise classes for those with Parkinson Disease.
Health literacy was important to consider in the development of the patient brochure as those with Parkinson Disease may have cognitive issues. After reviewing the voicethreads on health literacy, I decided to keep my document in bullet format, condense the bullet points to create more white space, and include only the information that would be most important and meaningful to the patients in order to motivate them to participate in the exercise classes. I think this simplified the document and will allow patients to focus on the benefits that they may experience and how they can find the classes. I also increased the font size so that the brochure would be easier for patients to read and changed to question format to further engage patients. I additionally improved the health literacy of my brochure by simplifying the wording and provided the information at the 6th grade literacy level.
Throughout the completion of this project, I sought feedback through email communications with my advisor and committee members. After completing the health literacy assessment, I thought that it might be helpful to provide a separate brochure to therapists using more technical terms defining the specific benefits each class may offer their patients. My advisor agreed with this suggestion but also proposed that I include a shortened version of the references I removed during the health literacy assessment in order to appropriately acknowledge the sources. I completed drafts of the patient and therapist brochures and sent them to my committee members. It was suggested that I incorporate questions patients should ask their therapist in the patient brochure and the answers in a more detailed therapist handout as these answers may vary by patient or over time. It was also recommended that I include a short description of the exercise classes in the patient brochure and the link for the Rock Steady website that will allow patients to search for boxing classes worldwide.
Though I think I did well requesting and integrating feedback from my advisor and committee members, I would meet in person or over telecommunications with my team if I were to complete a project like this in the future. If schedules permitted, this would promote discussion between team members regarding goals and ideas for the project. Nevertheless, communicating individually with my team resulted in a product that a committee member remarked is “very helpful” and we are excited to see how these materials go over in the clinic setting.
I would like to thank my advisor, Prue Plummer, and my committee members, Karen McCulloch and Carol Giuliani, for providing me with helpful feedback throughout the creation of this project. You all have assisted me in developing these materials into products that may be clinically useful and beneficial for those with Parkinson Disease. Additionally, I would like to thank my classmates, friends, and family for their continued moral support throughout the completion of this project.