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Nordic walking versus ordinary walking for people with Parkinson's Disease

This single case repeated measures mixed methods design tested the feasibility of protocols for a larger investigation of the effect of Nordic and ordinary walking on physical function and wellbeing in people with Parkinsonís disease.

There were five six week phases (ABACA); A = baseline/washout, B = ordinary walking, C = Nordic walking. A 64 year old female with an 11 year history of Parkinsonís disease participated. Physical function was measured weekly with the six-minute walk test, Timed Up and Go test, and 10-metre walk test. The mobility and activities of daily living subscales of the Parkinsonís Disease Questionnaire were answered at the beginning of the study and end of each phase.

At the end of the study the participant was interviewed about her experiences of the walking and the physical and psychological effects. Repeated measures analysis of variance analysed the statistical physical function data and the transcribed interview data were analysed using content analysis. No significant results occurred in the expected direction for the physical function analyses. Interview analysis revealed the participant considered Nordic walking more beneficial than ordinary walking; her general health improved, and she coped better with daily activities.

 Future similar research should include objective measures of daily functional activities and aerobic fitness.

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