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Multicentre, randomised controlled trial of PDSAFE, a physiotherapist-delivered fall prevention programme for people with Parkinson's

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Lynn Rochester



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2019. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ. Objective: To estimate the effect of a physiotherapist-delivered fall prevention programme for people with Parkinson's (PwP). Methods: People at risk of falls with confirmed Parkinson's were recruited to this multicentre, pragmatic, investigator blind, individually randomised controlled trial with prespecified subgroup analyses. 474 PwP (Hoehn and Yahr 1-4) were randomised: 238 allocated to a physiotherapy programme and 236 to control. All participants had routine care; the control group received a DVD about Parkinson's and single advice session at trial completion. The intervention group (PDSAFE) had an individually tailored, progressive home-based fall avoidance strategy training programme with balance and strengthening exercises. The primary outcome was risk of repeat falling, collected by self-report monthly diaries, 0-6 months after randomisation. Secondary outcomes included Mini-BESTest for balance, chair stand test, falls efficacy, freezing of gait, health-related quality of life (EuroQol EQ-5D), Geriatric Depression Scale, Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly and Parkinson's Disease Questionnaire, fractures and rate of near falling. Results: Average age is 72 years and 266 (56%) were men. By 6 months, 116 (55%) of the control group and 125 (61.5%) of the intervention group reported repeat falls (controlled OR 1.21, 95% CI 0.74 to 1.98, p=0.447). Secondary subgroup analyses suggested a different response to the intervention between moderate and severe disease severity groups. Balance, falls efficacy and chair stand time improved with near falls reduced in the intervention arm. Conclusion: PDSAFE did not reduce falling in this pragmatic trial of PwP. Other functional tasks improved and reduced fall rates were apparent among those with moderate disease. Trial registration number: ISRCTN48152791.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Chivers Seymour K, Pickering R, Rochester L, Roberts HC, Ballinger C, Hulbert S, Kunkel D, Marian IR, Fitton C, McIntosh E, Goodwin VA, Nieuwboer A, Lamb SE, Ashburn A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry

Year: 2019

Volume: 90

Issue: 7

Pages: 774-782

Print publication date: 13/06/2019

Online publication date: 03/04/2019

Acceptance date: 09/02/2019

Date deposited: 24/04/2019

ISSN (print): 0022-3050

ISSN (electronic): 1468-330X

Publisher: BMJ Publishing Group


DOI: 10.1136/jnnp-2018-319448


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Funder referenceFunder name
NIHR Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care
NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre