Implementation of a Community-Based Exercise Program for Parkinson Patients: Using Boxing as an Example
SourceJournal of Parkinson's Disease, 9, 3, (2019), pp. 615-623
Article / Letter to editor
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Journal of Parkinson's Disease
SubjectRadboudumc 3: Disorders of movement DCMN: Donders Center for Medical Neuroscience
BACKGROUND: Persons with Parkinson's disease (PD) benefit from continuous exercise through participation in community-based exercise programs. However, community programs often lack PD-specific knowledge needed to provide safe and adequately dosed exercise. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the acceptability and safety of a PD-specific boxing program in the community. METHODS: We developed specific educational resources to facilitate the boxing instructors. We also organized an educational and practical workshop for patients (n = 26) and instructors (n = 10), and assessed: (a) participants' satisfaction; (b) instructors' appreciation of the educational resources; and (c) numbers of patients interested in participating in the boxing program. After 18 months, patients and instructors completed a questionnaire evaluating: (a) participants' satisfaction; (b) adverse events; (c) facilitators and barriers; and (d) proportion of participants at follow-up. RESULTS: Twenty-six persons with PD (62% men) and 10 boxing instructors participated in the workshop. 81% of patients and 80% of instructors were very satisfied. Instructors found the educational materials "very helpful" (60%) or "helpful" (40%). Patients expressed a clear interest (54%) or possible interest (46%) in the program. We initiated classes with 10 participants. At 18-months follow-up, the program consisted of four boxing sessions/week, led by three instructors, with 40 participants. Seventeen patients responded to the questionnaire at follow-up. Participants were "very satisfied" (53%), "satisfied" (35%) and neither satisfied nor unsatisfied (12%) with the program. Adverse effects were mild (e.g., muscle aches). Transportation and physical disability were the main barriers for participation. CONCLUSIONS: The boxing program was well-received, with increasing numbers of participants at 18 months. The educational resources can support boxing instructors participating in current and future boxing classes being delivered in the community.
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