The effects of social isolation on gait parameters of older people with Parkinson’s disease
Keywords:Walking, COVID-19, Neurodegenerative Disease
BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 disease acquired pandemic proportions in 2020. To deal with the scenario, social isolation (SI) was adopted, which configures a lack of contact with people and places. The impediments of this measure, however, can bring risks to older people with Parkinson's disease (PD), such as impairments in gait parameters.
AIM: To verify the effects of SI on gait parameters in people with Parkinson's disease.
METHOD: Thirty-three people with PD were recruited. Gait assessment was conducted in two periods: February 2020 and March 2022 (before and after the SI, respectively). For that, participants were invited to walk on a 5.74m mat with pressure sensors under two conditions: preferred walking speed and fast walking speed. Three trials were performed for each condition. The gait parameters analyzed were Stride Length, Stride Time, Double Support Time, Stride Velocity, Stride Width, and Cadence. Statistical Analysis was performed by paired t-tests for the comparison of gait parameters between moments (pre and post-SI). RESULTS: In the preferred walking speed condition, the participants reduced their Stride Length (t15 = 3.88, p = 0.001) and Stride Velocity (t15 = 3.63, p = 0.002) in the post-SI period. In the fast-walking speed condition, the participants also reduced their Stride Length (t15 = 3.73, p = 0.002) and Stride Velocity (t15 = 2.86, p = 0.012) in the post-SI period.
INTERPRETATION: The SI period reduced the stride length and velocity of people with PD. A possible explanation is the lack of physical activity resulting from this public safety measure.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Thiago Martins Sirico, Diego Orcioli-Silva, Vinicius Cavassano Zampier, Gabriel Antonio Gazziero Moraca, Emerson Filintro de Oliveira Santos, Victor Spiandor Beretta
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