An exploratory study of activity in veterans with Parkinson's disease

Marilyn Trail, Nancy J. Petersen, Naomi Nelson, Eugene C. Lai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Movement disorder specialists have limited information on the specifics of how patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) spend their time. We deemed it important to examine the relationships among activity and daily energy expenditure (DEE), non-motor symptoms, and body mass index in veterans with PD who were outpatients at a Veterans Affairs medical center. In this exploratory study, we mailed demographic and activity questionnaires and gathered data on 100 patients. Activity was categorized into five domains and three intensity levels, and DEE was measured in kilocalories. Light activities accounted for 64.9% of DEE (9.1 h), moderate activities for 32.9% (2.1 h), and vigorous activities for 2.2% (0.1 h) of DEE. Television viewing comprised 10.6% (2.5 h) of the day. The effects of non-motor symptoms were significantly associated with more time spent on activities of daily life (ADL). Patients rated fatigue and pain as having the greatest impact on their daily activities. The overweight/obese group of PD patients expended more overall DEE (p = 0.044) and more DEE on social activities (p = 0.024) and light intensity activities (p = 0.021) than did the underweight/normal group. Leisure activities for both groups changed from active to passive. Veterans with PD primarily expended DEE on ADL, TV viewing, and light intensity activities. Television viewing time may have been under reported. Movement disorder specialists can be more proactive in referring patients to physical therapy and encouraging their participation in community exercise and support groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1686-1693
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neurology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2012


  • Activity questionnaire
  • Body mass index
  • Daily energy expenditure
  • Non-motor symptoms
  • Parkinson's disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'An exploratory study of activity in veterans with Parkinson's disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this