Exploring the uptake and implementation of tele-monitored home-exercise programmes in adults with Parkinson’s disease: A mixed-methods pilot study

Academic Article


  • Background: People with Parkinson’s disease experience numerous barriers to exercise participation at fitness facilities. Advances in tele-monitoring technologies create alternative channels for managing and supervising exercise programmes in the home. However, the success of these programmes will depend on participants’ perceptions of using the technology and their exercise adherence. Thus, this pilot explored the uptake and implementation of two common methods of Internet-exercise training in Parkinson’s disease. Methods: Twenty adults with Parkinson’s disease were randomized into either: telecoach-assisted exercise (TAE) or self-regulated exercise (SRE) groups. Both groups received the same eight-week exercise prescription (combined strength and aerobic exercise) and telehealth system that streamed and recorded vital signs and exercise data. TAE participants exercised under a telecoach’s supervision via videoconferencing. SRE participants independently managed their exercise training. Quantitative data were described and qualitative data underwent thematic analysis. Results: Quantitative results demonstrated that TAE participants achieved strong attendance (99.2%), whereas SRE participants demonstrated 35.9% lower attendance, 48% less total time exercising, and 74.5% less time exercising at moderate intensity. Qualitatively, TAE participants reported overtly favourable programme experiences and that assistance from a telecoach enhanced their exercise motivation. SRE participants noted several challenges that impeded adherence. Conclusion: Findings demonstrate that adults with Parkinson’s disease acknowledge benefits of exercising through a telehealth system and are open to utilizing this channel as a means of exercise. However, human-interactive support may be required to overcome unique impediments to participation. Study findings warrant validation in larger trials that can transfer the success of TAE towards more scalable methods of delivery.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Lai B; Bond K; Kim Y; Barstow B; Jovanov E; Bickel CS
  • Start Page

  • 53
  • End Page

  • 63
  • Volume

  • 26
  • Issue

  • 1-2