Toward understanding ambulatory activity decline in parkinson disease

James T. Cavanaugh, Terry D. Ellis, Gammon M. Earhart, Matthew P. Ford, K. Bo Foreman, Leland E. Dibble

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Background. Declining ambulatory activity represents an important facet of disablement in Parkinson disease (PD). Objective. The primary study aim was to compare the 2-year trajectory of ambulatory activity decline with concurrently evolving facets of disability in a small cohort of people with PD. The secondary aim was to identify baseline variables associated with ambulatory activity at 1- and 2-year follow-up assessments. Design. This was a prospective, longitudinal cohort study. Methods. Seventeen people with PD (Hoehn and Yahr stages 1–3) were recruited from 2 outpatient settings. Ambulatory activity data were collected at baseline and at 1- and 2-year annual assessments. Motor, mood, balance, gait, upper extremity function, quality of life, self-efficacy, and levodopa equivalent daily dose data and data on activities of daily living also were collected. Results. Participants displayed significant 1- and 2-year declines in the amount and intensity of ambulatory activity concurrently with increasing levodopa equivalent daily dose. Worsening motor symptoms and slowing of gait were apparent only after 2 years. Concurrent changes in the remaining clinical variables were not observed. Baseline ambulatory activity and physical performance variables had the strongest relationships with 1- and 2-year mean daily steps. Limitations. The sample was small and homogeneous. Conclusions. Future research that combines ambulatory activity monitoring with a broader and more balanced array of measures would further illuminate the dynamic interactions among evolving facets of disablement and help determine the extent to which sustained patterns of recommended daily physical activity might slow the rate of disablement in PD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1142-1150
Number of pages9
JournalPhysical therapy
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015


Dive into the research topics of 'Toward understanding ambulatory activity decline in parkinson disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this