Does attendance at a multidisciplinary outpatient rehabilitation program for people with parkinson's disease produce quantitative short term or long term improvements? A systematic review

Maureen Johnston, Eli Chu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


A systematic review was conducted of the evidence for the effectiveness of the outcomes from treatment by multidisciplinary outpatient rehabilitation programs which were provided by more than one allied health or nursing discipline for people diagnosed with Parkinson's disease (PD). The search yielded only 4 studies ranging from poor to good quality, on the outcomes of multidisciplinary rehabilitation. There were no available random controlled trials on short term outcomes although some limited evidence from lower quality studies suggested significant short term gains are achieved in gait speed and step length. No consistent evidence is available for other outcome measures. From the available evidence for longer term outcomes over a period of 4-6 months post intervention the improvements in outcome measures for gait are not significant. The results of this systematic review suggest that there is limited evidence to suggest short term gains in outcomes for people with PD attending multidisciplinary programs but over a 4-6 month period these gains are no longer significant. Overall, there is very limited high level evidence available to show whether multidisciplinary out-patient programs produce effective, either short or long term, outcomes for PD and further research is needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375-383
Number of pages9
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • allied health
  • effects
  • evaluation
  • functional status
  • multidisciplinary team
  • outcomes
  • Parkinson's disease
  • quality of life
  • rehabilitation program
  • trial

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