• Study of an Early Wellness Program in Parkinson ’s Disease: Impact On Quality Of Life And Early Intervention Guidance

      Page, Brent Michael; The University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix; Shill, Holly (The University of Arizona., 2017-05-26)
      Previous studies have shown that Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients are at an increased risk for a variety of complications impacting health related quality of life (HRQoL). Additionally, these various complications often lead to increased healthcare utilization. Wellness intervention in PD has shown to be effective in improving HRQoL and objective measures of disease burden such as motor functioning. What has not been demonstrated to date is whether patients who are given the opportunity to participate in regularly administered classes in these modalities will continue to attend and whether benefits will continue to be realized outside the strict confines of a controlled trial. This study examined whether intervening early in PD with a comprehensive Wellness Program is feasible and promotes lasting habits that will continue to provide sustained benefit. It was hypothesized that intervening early in PD with an intensive program involving structured exercise, socialization and PD specific education would serve to maintain or improve subject’s quality of life while decreasing healthcare utilization. Twenty‐one consenting ambulatory adult subjects diagnosed with PD within the last five years completed various screenings at baseline and following a required 6‐month Wellness Program intervention. Subjects were assessed at 12 and 18 months if they continued to participate. Patient demographics, disease specific quality of life, objective mobility, healthcare utilization and falls were assessed. Data were collected at Banner Sun Health Research Institute, located in Sun City, Arizona. All p‐values were 2‐tailed and P<0.05 was considered statistically significant. All data analyses were conducted using STATA‐14. Twenty of twenty‐one subjects completed the required 6‐month intervention. Continued participation was 70% at 12 months and 60% at 18 months. Overall HRQoL was stable at 18 months. Significant improvement was seen in patient reported mobility and emotion sub‐areas at 12 months. Communication specific HRQoL was significantly worsened at 12 months. Subjects demonstrated a stable level of physical activity while fatigue was significantly decreased. All objective measures were significantly improved from baseline. Healthcare utilization was decreased by 18 months. A total of 5 falls were reported by 3 subjects during the 6‐month interventional period. This pilot study demonstrates that comprehensive wellness intervention in early PD is feasible, effective, safe and valuable in establishing long‐term beneficial habits while potentially reducing healthcare utilization. The significant long‐term subject participation observed in this study establishes that wellness intervention may be practical for large scale implementation. The results also highlight the importance of addressing communication specific symptoms early in the course of the disease. Ultimately, this study will aid the design and implementation of future PD wellness interventions.