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Parkinson’s Disease
Volume 2012, Article ID 360231, 8 pages
Research Article

The PIT: SToPP Trial—A Feasibility Randomised Controlled Trial of Home-Based Physiotherapy for People with Parkinson's Disease Using Video-Based Measures to Preserve Assessor Blinding

1Faculty of Medicine, Academic Geriatric Medicine, University of Southampton, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK
2Southampton General Hospital, Mailpoint 886, Tremona Road, Southampton, Hampshire SO16 6YD, UK
3Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Southampton, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK

Received 25 July 2011; Accepted 22 August 2011

Academic Editor: Gammon M. Earhart

Copyright © 2012 Emma Stack et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Purpose. To trial four-week's physiotherapy targeting chair transfers for people with Parkinson's disease (PwPD) and explore the feasibility of reliance on remote outcome measurement to preserve blinding. Scope. We recruited 47 PwPD and randomised 24 to a focused home physiotherapy programme (exercise, movement strategies, and cueing) and 23 to a control group. We evaluated transfers (plus mobility, balance, posture, and quality of life) before and after treatment and at followup (weeks 0, 4, 8, and 12) from video produced by, and questionnaires distributed by, treating physiotherapists. Participants fed back via end-of-study questionnaires. Thirty-five participants (74%) completed the trial. Excluding dropouts, 20% of questionnaire data and 9% of video data were missing or unusable; we had to evaluate balance in situ. We noted trends to improvement in transfers, mobility, and balance in the physiotherapy group not noted in the control group. Participant feedback was largely positive and assessor blinding was maintained in every case. Conclusions. Intense, focused physiotherapy at home appears acceptable and likely to bring positive change in those who can participate. Remote outcome measurement was successful; questionnaire followup and further training in video production would reduce missing data. We advocate a fully powered trial, designed to minimise dropouts and preserve assessor blinding, to evaluate this intervention.