As a result of a connection that InMotion leaders made at last year’s World Parkinson’s Congress in Kyoto, Japan, our assessment outcomes have recently been published in the August 2020 issue of Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation, a peer-reviewed journal. The article, entitled “Motor Performance and Quality of Life in a Community Exercise Program for Parkinson Disease” (Stiles, E., Jaffe, K., Schwartz, C., Rossi, B., Riley, D.), describes our investigation into the effects of a comprehensive community program composed of exercise, mindfulness practice, and education on motor function and quality of life in individuals with Parkinson disease (PD). Having our holistic, integrated approach validated through the peer-review process represents a significant milestone for InMotion.
In the study, thirty-six participants completed physical and quality-of-life assessments independently at baseline and 12 months. Physical assessments showed stability or improvement in functional mobility, integrated strength, and walking ability over the 1-year interval. PDQ-39 measures showed improvement in 6 of 8 indices: mobility, activities of daily living, emotional well-being, stigma reduction, social support, and bodily discomfort. Our results demonstrate the effectiveness of exercise, mindfulness, and education in community and group settings.
Since research in a community-based group setting offers a wealth of opportunities for additional studies, we look at this first article as the first of many. As we move forward, we expect the strength of our research design to improve with greater numbers of subjects and by incorporating data on attendance frequency and analysis of the effects of different scheduled activities. For example, we could examine what combinations of classes (eg, physical classes only vs. a combination of physical and expressive classes such as singing or dance) produce the strongest results. With larger numbers of participants, we may be able to focus on identifying subgroups of participants who benefit from specific activities. Finally, we are interested in developing a research design that incorporates random selection into the experimental and control groups. We expect the data we generate will drive innovation and continuous improvement in our program delivery.
Our findings support previous research regarding the power of exercise and other support activities. Complementing our research findings are the stories from our clients and their families who, every day with InMotion’s support, are learning to live positively and constructively with their disease. Our InMotion community provides a nurturing, welcoming environment through which our clients become stronger physically and emotionally. As our research program grows, we hope our results will continue to support our efforts to provide our clients with the tools they need to live well with PD.
InMotion, a nonprofit organization based in Cleveland, OH, offers a wide range of exercise, healing arts, education and support programs, to approximately 1,200 clients and carepartners, all at no cost. InMotion is fully supported by donations from individuals, corporations, and foundations. To learn more about InMotion, please visit us at www.beinmotion.org.