M Malik, K McFarlane, A Gordon, R Skelly, N Chadborn


  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Aging
  • General Medicine

Abstract Introduction Exercise is beneficial for Parkinson’s disease (PD), but many people struggle to achieve the 150 minutes per a week recommendation. Symptoms of PD or co-morbidity may be barriers for exercise; and physiotherapists can provide expert assessment and tailoring of exercise to accommodate these needs. Method We developed a remote physiotherapy intervention using videoconference (Attend Anywhere). An ongoing feasibility trial is assessing this intervention, and a process evaluation seeks to understand the broader context and acceptability of the intervention. Here we present a qualitative study of participants of the feasibility study. We invited participants from the feasibility trial to individual semi-structured telephone or videoconference interview. 14 participants were interviewed. Transcripts were analysed by thematic analysis within two main themes: physical activity and use of digital technology. Participants spoke about their attitudes towards their diagnosis. Results Individuals who had come to terms with their PD were more engaged with the exercise regime than participants who expressed a sense of denial. Participants who mentioned the benefits of exercise for reducing or delaying PD symptoms were more likely to report a positive attitude to exercise. In contrast, individuals with co-morbidity, or caring roles, found it more difficult to commit to regular exercise; flexibility of the exercise routine was valued. For the theme of digital technology some participants reported struggling with, technical problems such as interruptions in internet connection, having constrained space to exercise and staying in view of the camera for the physiotherapist. Whilst some participants lacked digital confidence, or expressed a preference for in-person treatment, other participants reported no difficulties or found it more convenient than travelling to clinic.

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