Efficacy of intensive multidisciplinary rehabilitation in Parkinson's disease: a randomised controlled study

Davide Ferrazzoli, Paola Ortelli, Ilaria Zivi, Veronica Cian, Elisa Urso, Maria Felice Ghilardi, Roberto Maestri, Giuseppe Frazzitta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: To evaluate whether a 4-week multidisciplinary, aerobic, motor-cognitive and intensive rehabilitation treatment (MIRT) improves the quality of life (QoL) of patients with Parkinson's disease (PD), in the short-term and long-term period.

METHODS: This is a prospective, parallel-group, single-centre, single-blind, randomised clinical trial (ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02756676). 186 patients with PD, assigned to experimental group, underwent MIRT; conversely, 48 patients, assigned to control group, did not receive rehabilitation. Parkinson's Disease Questionnaire-39 was assessed 2 (T0), 10 (T1) and 18 (T2, only experimental group) weeks after the enrolment. We compared T1 versus T0 scores within subjects and delta scores (T1-T0) between subjects. To investigate the long-term effects, we compared T2 and T0 scores in the experimental group.

RESULTS: At T0, no between-group differences in the Global Index Score (GBI) were observed (experimental group: 43.6±21.4, controls: 41.6±22.9, P=0.50). At T1, we did not find significant changes in controls (delta score: 1.2±9.9, P=0.23), and we found an improvement in GBI in the experimental group (delta score: -8.3±18.0, P<0.0001), significant also between subjects (P<0.0001). Comparing T2 versus T0 in the experimental group, the GBI maintained a significant improvement (delta score: -4.8±17.5, P<0.0001).

CONCLUSIONS: A rehabilitation treatment such as MIRT could improve QoL in patients with PD in the short-term and long-term period. Even though the single-blind design and the possible role of the placebo effect on the conclusive results must be considered as limitations of this study, the improvement in outcome measure, also maintained after a 3-month follow-up period, suggests the effectiveness of MIRT on the QoL.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)828-835
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018


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