Jacilyn Olson, Linda Sealy-Holtz, Chris Ahrens & Kyle Covey

University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond, Oklahoma.

Due to the variability of symptoms caused by Parkinson’s disease (PD), many different types of therapies are employed to combat this chronic condition, often placing a great time burden on patients and their families. Targeted exercise is important in order to maintain functional ability and improve muscular strength and endurance. Purpose: Therefore, the primary purpose of this study was to report changes in pre-to-post testing outcomes on measures of fitness and balance as the result of a combined physical fitness and speech therapy treatment program for individuals with PD. METHODS: A group of eight individuals with PD (58-82yrs) volunteered for this study. Participants’ initial functional fitness was measured by performance on the Senior Fitness Test (SFT). Initial balance was measured using the MINI-BEST Test (MBT). After initial measurement, a group training program consisting of 60-minute sessions, three times a week for four weeks was administered. Protocol consisted of a warm up, strength and endurance exercises, static and dynamic balance training, and flexibility/cool down. Voice training was administered simultaneously. Modifications were included for individuals to maintain own pace while partaking in group activities. Upon program completion, the SFT and MBT were again assessed to monitor progress. RESULTS: See Table 1 (attached). CONCLUSION: Subjects showed improvement in measurements of fitness and balance. More research is needed to determine how much of these changes can be attributed to the combination of voice and physical fitness training as opposed to training for voice and physical fitness separately. Based on the statistical data and participant feedback, this research will continue to be explored.

Supported by UCO Interdisciplinary Grant.

Table 1.docx (53 kB)
Table 1

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