Online Course

Physical Therapy Management Across the Stages of Parkinson’s Disease: Moving from Evidence to Practice

Faculty: Miriam Rafferty PT, PhD, Board Certified Neurologic Therapist

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this course, participants will be able to:

1. Describe the typical physiological and motor learning characteristics of Parkinson’s disease and how they impact rehabilitation.

2. Describe evidence-based evaluation tools to assess functional mobility, gait, balance, and fall risk in people with PD.

3. Identify evidence-based treatment strategies to address the following domains in people with PD: functional mobility, strength, flexibility, and aerobic conditioning.

4. Explain gait training and cueing strategies for people with PD on and off the treadmill.

5. Identify fall risk factors and assessment methods for people with PD.

6. To describe international best practice standards for physical therapy evaluation and treatment of people with Parkinson’s disease across the stages of the disease.

7. To compare physical therapy delivery models that focus on restoration, compensation, or skilled maintenance of function.

8. To design physical therapy delivery plans for case examples of people with early, middle, and advanced stage Parkinson’s disease.

Course Description.

Parkinson’s disease is a complex neurodegenerative condition that causes progressive loss of mobility and quality of life. Both motor and non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are important to consider in the delivery of physical therapy. This comprehensive course will provide up-to-date information regarding the management of Parkinson’s disease including medical and physical therapy management addressing all levels of the International Classification of Function, Disability, and Healt. Evidence-based physical therapy evaluation, outcome measurement, and treatment strategies will be presented in the context of international best practice standards and treatment delivery models in the US health system. Interventions discussed include gait, balance, cueing, functional mobility, and exercise prescription. Additional attention will address complex problems in Parkinson’s disease, such as the impact of nonmotor symptoms on physical therapy, strategies to improve maintenance of home exercise participation, motor learning, and freezing of gait.

Outline and topics

Overview of Parkinson’s Disease

PD Medical and Surgical Management Part 1: Diagnosis and Team Management Approach

PD Medical and Surgical Management Part 2: PT Implications of Pharmacologic and Surgical Approaches

Impact of Nonmotor Symptoms in PD Part 1: Cognition

Impact of Nonmotor Symptoms in PD Part 2: Mood and More

Motor Learning and Neuroplasticity Applied to PD

Introduction to PD Evaluation and Documentation

PD Outcome Measures Overview

Test and Measures – across the ICF model

International PD Guidelines in the Context of the US Healthcare System

Introduction to PT Interventions and Exercise Prescription

Aerobic and Strengthening Exercise Prescription

Balance, Flexibility, and Posture Exercise Prescription

Basic Gait Training Principles

Treating Postural Instability

Complex Gait Training in Parkinson’s Disease: Cueing and Freezing of Gait

Functional Mobility Training

Addressing Quality of Life, Personal, and Environmental Factors

Case Integration 1 – Early Stage PD

Case Integration 2 – Middle Stage PD

Case Integration 3 – Late Stage PD

The online course will be launched in Aug, 2019

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