The importance of physical activity in individuals with Parkinson’s disease (PD) is well established. Engagement in physical activity is critical to managing symptoms, maintaining function, and improving quality of life in people with PD. Persons with PD are approximately one-third less active than those aged 65 years and older (van Nimwegen, 2011), and this activity level continues to decline with time (Cavanaugh, 2012). Our goal for the Tier I project is to establish a partnership among stakeholders from the PD community (individuals with PD, caregivers, physical therapists, physicians, social workers, and researchers) to form an informed group that will explore interventions to compare to promote physical activity and outcomes to use when developing the CER question.
Stakeholder groups will meet on six occasions over the nine-month period to discuss (a) perceptions about physical activity, (b) experience with engagement in physical activity, (c) barriers and facilitators to engagement in physical activity, (d) ideas to improve engagement (motivation, access), and (e) outcomes that are important to include. The team will also familiarize themselves with the current literature on physical activity, factors that either promote or lead to a decline in physical activity, exercise interventions that have proven efficacy to improve physical activity, and discuss what outcomes are important to consider from the perspectives of all the stakeholders involved. We will also create the IDEAS for PD website to engage the larger PD community to get their input on our ideas and to disseminate information that we generate from the Tier I meetings.