Comparison of three physical therapy interventions with an emphasis on the gait of individuals with Parkinson’s disease

<div><p>Abstract Introduction: Gait impairments are one of the earliest signs reported by patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) and cause an increased number of falls and decreased quality of life among these patients. Objective: To compare the effectiveness of three physical therapy interventions using Rhythmic Cues (RC), Swiss Ball (SB) and Dual Task (DT), with an emphasis on gait treatment (step and stride length, duration and velocity), in individuals with PD. Methods: Quasi-randomized clinical trial addressing a sample composed of 45 individuals assigned to three groups. The individuals were assessed before and after the intervention protocol using the following: Modified Hoehn and Yahr Scale (HY), Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS), Footprint analysis, Video Gait analysis, and Timed Up and Go Test (TUG). The groups were homogeneous concerning age, HY and UPDRS. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS, version 20.0. Results: Statistically significant differences were found in all the variables analyzed in the RC and SB groups when compared in the pre- and post-intervention. With the exception of the TUG variable, the DT group presented statistically significant differences in all the remaining variables. Conclusion: The three interventions were effective for the outcomes under study, but the SB group presented the greatest magnitude of change (effect size), while the RC group presented the greatest improvement in the temporal gait variables (duration and velocity) and TUG.</p></div>