Home based training for dexterity in Parkinson's disease: A randomized controlled trial.

Vanbellingen, Tim; Nyffeler, Thomas; Nigg, Julia; Janssens, Jorina; Hoppe, Johanna; Nef, Tobias; Müri, René Martin; van Wegen, Erwin E H; Kwakkel, Gert; Bohlhalter, Stephan (2017). Home based training for dexterity in Parkinson's disease: A randomized controlled trial. Parkinsonism & related disorders, 41, pp. 92-98. Elsevier 10.1016/j.parkreldis.2017.05.021

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Patients with Parkinson's disease exhibit disturbed manual dexterity. This impairment leads to difficulties in activities of daily living, such as buttoning a shirt or hand-writing. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effectiveness of a home-based dexterity program on fine motor skills in a single-blinded, randomized controlled trial, in patients with Parkinson's disease.


One hundred and three patients with Parkinson's disease (aged between 48 and 80 years, Hoehn & Yahr stage I-IV) were randomized to either a home-based dexterity program (HOMEDEXT) or Thera-band program. All patients trained over a period of 4 weeks, 5 times/week, 30 min for each session. A baseline, post-intervention, and follow-up assessment (12 weeks later, time period without intervention) were done. The primary outcome measure was dexterity as measured with the Nine Hole peg test (9-HPT). Secondary outcome measures included strength, motor parkinsonian symptoms, dexterity-related activities of daily living (ADL) and Health-related Quality of Life (HrQoL).


There was a significant difference in favor of the HOMEDEXT group as compared to the Thera-band group on the primary outcome 9-HPT (p = 0.006) and dexterity-related ADL (p = 0.02) at post intervention. No significant differences were found for the other outcomes, nor at follow-up.


This is the first randomized controlled trial showing that an intensive, task specific home-based dexterity program significantly improved fine motor skills in Parkinson's disease. The effect generalized to dexterity-related ADL functions. As these improvements did not sustain, the finding suggest that continuous training is required to maintain the benefit.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > BioMedical Research (DBMR) > DCR Unit Sahli Building > Forschungsgruppe Neurologie
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Head Organs and Neurology (DKNS) > Clinic of Neurology
10 Strategic Research Centers > ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research > ARTORG Center - Gerontechnology and Rehabilitation

UniBE Contributor:

Vanbellingen, Tim, Nyffeler, Thomas, Janssens, Jorina, Nef, Tobias, Müri, René Martin, Bohlhalter, Stephan


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Stefanie Hetzenecker

Date Deposited:

24 Oct 2017 10:34

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:06

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Randomized controlled trial; Home based training; Manual dexterity; Parkinson's disease; Nine Hole Peg test





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