A case study on the role of exercise in the management of Parkinson's disease

Clarke, Patricia M. (1992) A case study on the role of exercise in the management of Parkinson's disease. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

Exercise has been heralded by many as the therapeutic medium for managing stress, enhancing well being, controlling weight, and preventing illness. In fact, many people attach more credibility to exercising, as a means to achieving or maintaining satisfactory health, then any other form of medical intervention. -- There are however, an infinite number of people who envision physical activity as something that is reserved for the young and healthy. The infirmed are either non-candidates for any form of physical exertion or, it is generally felt, beyond help. Because of the preponderance of effort and time required to attend or adhere to a pattern of regular exercise coupled with the belief that exercise might further aggravate a medical condition, those who are ill prefer the comfort and noncommittal nature of remaining sedentary. -- This paper is a qualitative investigation centred primarily around an endeavour to obtain information that describes the experiences of living with a medical condition called Parkinson's disease and participating in an exercise program. The quantitative research has already established that there is a positive change in gait, muscular strength and flexibility but there is very little research that describes the impact of these improvements. Initial discussions with participants in the program indicated that they felt some temporary relief of one of the major symptoms of the illness, rigidity. They indicated an improvement in their ability to extend their limbs and manoeuvre about obstacles in a room. They were able to dress themselves with greater efficiency, get into and out of a car by themselves and exercise more independence in all aspects of their lives. Many felt that the key to avoiding total incapacitation was to maintain a regime of regular exercise. Patients felt some consolation at not having to rely so heavily on others to accomplish routine tasks. The class also provided the opportunity to converse with others in similar predicaments. For some, the class was the only form of socialization they encountered in the week. Continued discussions with the patients revealed that exercise was responsible for restoring self confidence, providing the muscular agility to enjoy hobbies they had given up because of the condition, and generally giving them the power to influence some control over the progression and severity of their symptoms. These factors alone allowed me to conclude that the role of exercise in the management of Parkinson's disease was monumental and that exercise should be an automatic recommendation by the neurologist diagnosing this condition.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/5747
Item ID: 5747
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 141-146
Department(s): Human Kinetics and Recreation, School of > Physical Education
Date: 1992
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Parkinson's disease--Patients--Physical therapy

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