Using Implementation Frameworks to Provide Proactive Physical Therapy for People With Parkinson Disease: Case Report

Miriam R. Rafferty, Jillian MacDonald, Alexandria Byskosh, Laura Sloan, Santiago Toledo, Christina Marciniak, Tanya Simuni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: European clinical practice guidelines recommend physical therapy for people with Parkinson disease (PD) soon after diagnosis to provide education, physical activity advice, and individualized interventions when needed. However, therapy is frequently not used until after gait and balance problems occur. The purpose of this administrative case study is to present the application of a proactive physical therapy (PAPT) approach at 1 rehabilitation center using implementation frameworks to support the (1) implementation process, (2) determinants of implementation success, and (3) implementation evaluation. CASE DESCRIPTION: The PAPT program targeted people with PD before the onset of significant mobility dysfunction. It was initiated in 1 outpatient neurological rehabilitation center. The program used shared decision-making to promote long-term maintenance of independent exercise. The Knowledge-to-Action Framework was used by champions to plan implementation processes. Implementation barriers were addressed using the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research. The program was evaluated using the RE-AIM (Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation, Maintenance) framework with mixed methods. OUTCOMES: In the program's first year, 38 people were referred, 28 were evaluated, and 20 participated in the 6-month program evaluation. Following PAPT, the number of participants reporting regular participation in aerobic, strengthening, and flexibility exercise approximately doubled, while those engaging in balance activities increased from 1 to 8. They reported a median of 140 minutes of aerobic exercise per week. Implementation barriers included location, insurance coverage, and difficulty scheduling long-term follow-up visits. Participants reported physical and emotional benefits of the program. DISCUSSION: Implementation frameworks assisted with the implementation and evaluation of a PAPT delivery model that helped people with PD to increase and maintain independent exercise participation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1644-1655
Number of pages12
JournalPhysical therapy
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 16 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Using Implementation Frameworks to Provide Proactive Physical Therapy for People With Parkinson Disease: Case Report'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this