Are mobile persons with Parkinson disease necessarily more active?

Jenna A. Zajac, James T. Cavanaugh, Teresa Baker, Cristina Colón-Semenza, Tamara R. DeAngelis, Ryan P. Duncan, Daniel Fulford, Michael LaValley, Timothy Nordahl, Kerri S. Rawson, Marie Saint-Hilaire, Cathi A. Thomas, Gammon M. Earhart, Terry D. Ellis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background and Purpose: Walking activity in persons with Parkinson disease (PD) is important for preventing functional decline. The contribution of walking activity to home and community mobility in PD is poorly understood. Methods: Cross-sectional baseline data (N = 69) were analyzed from a randomized controlled PD trial. The Life-Space Assessment (LSA) quantified the extent, frequency, and independence across 5 expanding levels of home and community mobility, producing individual subscores and a total score. Two additional summed scores were used to represent mobility within (Levels 1-3) and beyond (Levels 4-5) neighborhood limits. An accelerometer measured walking activity for 7 days. Regression and correlation analyses evaluated relationships between daily steps and mobility scores. Mann-Whitney U tests secondarily compared differences in mobility scores between the active and sedentary groups. Results: Walking activity contributed significantly to the summed Level 1-3 score (β = 0.001, P = 0.004) but not to the summed Level 4-5 (β = 0.001, P = 0.33) or total (β = 0.002, P = 0.07) scores. Walking activity was significantly related to Level 1 (ρ = 0.336, P = 0.005), Level 2 (ρ = 0.307, P = 0.010), and Level 3 (ρ = 0.314, P = 0.009) subscores. Only the summed Level 1-3 score (P = 0.030) was significantly different between the active and sedentary groups. Discussion and Conclusions: Persons with PD who demonstrated greater mobility beyond the neighborhood were not necessarily more active; walking activity contributed more so to home and neighborhood mobility. Compared with LSA total score, the Level 1-3 summed score may be a more useful participation-level measure for assessing the impact of changes in walking activity. Video Abstract available for more insights from the authors (see the Video, Supplemental Digital Content 1 available at: http://links.lww.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-265
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neurologic Physical Therapy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • Life space
  • Parkinson disease
  • Walking activity


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