Publication date: Jan 14, 2020
-Not only is exercise good for you but it slows the progression of disability,” says Terry Ellis, a Boston University Sargent College of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences associate professor and director of the Center for Neurorehabilitation.
-It’s not like just taking a pill,” says Ellis, chair of the physical therapy and athletic training department, who is joined by researchers at Washington University in St. Louis to study the use of an mHealth (mobile health) app to help-and even inspire-people with Parkinson’s to exercise.
They will follow the progress of 200 people with Parkinson’s engaged in physical therapy and who begin exercise regimens.
-We’re trying to help people make exercise part of their everyday life,” Ellis says.
Here’s how Ellis’ treatment works: Participants begin with a series of face-to-face sessions with a physical therapist and receive a personalized set of exercises and a walking regimen to follow at home.
In between sessions, participants open the app on a tablet or phone to review their daily workout, receive personalized advice, and communicate with their physical therapists.
Fulford, a psychologist and a Sargent assistant professor of occupational therapy, helped design cognitive behavioral elements for therapists to use in person and then for patients to use on the mHealth app.