Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Master of Science

Program

Health and Rehabilitation Sciences

Supervisor(s)

Dr. Sandi J Spaulding

Abstract

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is characterized by resting tremor, bradykinesia, rigidity, and postural instability. These cardinal symptoms commonly affect gait performance and therefore researchers have been investigating techniques to manage and treat gait impairment in individuals with PD. This thesis explores a progressive approach to gait rehabilitation using a novel intervention that combines traditional gait cueing techniques with motor learning approaches to facilitate self-cued gait improvement. Five participants with PD-related gait impairment completed the home-based gait training intervention. This intervention included video footage of each individual participant walking with and without verbal instructional cues, audio coaching, and practice periods. Participants were given the video to practice at home for two-weeks. Kinematic parameters of gait were assessed pre-intervention, at two weeks post-intervention, and at two months post-intervention. Results indicate that individuals with PD are capable of learning verbal-cueing strategies and utilizing these to generate long-term gait improvements through self-cueing.


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