THURSDAY, Sept. 9, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Patients with Parkinson disease (PD) with gait impairment can benefit from compensation strategies, but many have limited awareness regarding the full spectrum of available strategies, according to a study published online Sept. 8 in Neurology.

Anouk Tosserams, M.D., from the Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen, Netherlands, and colleagues examined awareness and use of compensation strategies for gait impairment in PD, patient-rated efficacy of the different strategies, and differences in the efficacy between subgroups. A total of 4,324 adults with PD and self-reported disabling gait impairments were surveyed.

The researchers found that compensation strategies for gait impairments are frequently used by persons with PD, but they have limited awareness regarding the full spectrum of available strategies. Of the respondents, 22.8 percent had never tried any form of strategy; less than 1 percent had tried all seven. The median number of categories tried was two. Patient-rated efficacy was high for compensation strategies, with variation based on the context in which these strategies are applied. All types of PD patients can benefit from compensation strategies, but the efficacy of different strategies varies per person.

“Our findings suggest that a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach doesn’t work, because different contexts might require different strategies, or because individuals simply respond better to one strategy compared to another,” Tosserams said in a statement. “We need to go a step further and teach people about all the available compensation strategies.”

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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