Exploring the feasibility of technological visuo-cognitive training in Parkinson’s: Study protocol for a pilot randomised controlled trial

Julia Das, Rosie Morris, Gill Barry, Rodrigo Vitorio, Paul Oman, Claire McDonald, Richard Walker, Samuel Stuart*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Visual and cognitive dysfunction are common in Parkinson’s disease and relate to balance and gait impairment, as well as increased falls risk and reduced quality of life. Vision and cognition are interrelated (termed visuo-cognition) which makes intervention complex in people with Parkinson’s (PwP). Non-pharmacological interventions for visuo-cognitive deficits are possible with modern technology, such as combined mobile applications and stroboscopic glasses, but evidence for their effectiveness in PwP is lacking. We aim to investigate whether technological visuo-cognitive training (TVT) can improve visuo-cognitive function in PwP. We will use a parallel group randomised controlled trial to evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of TVT versus standard care in PwP. Forty PwP who meet our inclusion criteria will be randomly assigned to one of two visuo-cognitive training interventions. Both interventions will be carried out by a qualified physiotherapist in participants own homes (1-hour sessions, twice a week, for 4 weeks). Outcome measures will be assessed on anti-parkinsonian medication at baseline and at the end of the 4-week intervention. Feasibility of the TVT intervention will be assessed in relation to safety and acceptability of the technological intervention, compliance and adherence to the intervention and usability of equipment in participants homes. Additionally, semi structured interviews will be conducted to explore participants’ experience of the technology. Exploratory efficacy outcomes will include change in visual attention measured using the Trail Making Test as well as changes in balance, gait, quality of life, fear of falling and levels of activity. This pilot study will focus on the feasibility and acceptability of TVT in PwP and provide preliminary data to support the design of a larger, multi-centre randomised controlled trial. This trial is registered at isrctn.com (ISRCTN46164906).
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0275738
Number of pages17
JournalPLoS One
Volume17
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Oct 2022

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