A Wearable Proprioceptive Stabilizer (Equistasi®) for Rehabilitation of Postural Instability in Parkinson’s Disease: A Phase II Randomized Double-Blind, Double-Dummy, Controlled Study

Daniele Volpe, Maria Giulia Giantin, Alfonso Fasano

Plos One, Nov. 2014

1. The aim of this pilot study is to test the feasibility and effectiveness of a balance training program in association with a wearable proprioceptive stabilizer (Equistasi®) that emits focal mechanical vibrations in patients with PD. Forty patients with PD were randomly divided in two groups wearing an active or inactive device. All the patients received a 2-month intensive program of balance training.

2. Both groups improved at the end of the rehabilitation period and we did not find significant between-group differences in any of the principal posturographic measures with the exception of higher sway area and limit of stability on the instrumental functional reach test during visual deprivation at T1 in the Equistasi group. As for the secondary outcome, we found an overall better outcome in patients enrolled in the Equistasi group: 1) significant improvement at T1 on Berg Balance Scale (+45.0%, p =?.026), Activities-specific Balance Confidence (+83.7, p =?.004), Falls Efficacy Scale (-33.3%, p =?.026) and PDQ-39 (-48.8%, p =?.004); 2) sustained improvement at T2 in terms of UPDRS-III, Berg Balance Scales, Time Up and Go and PDQ-39; 3) significant and sustained reduction of the falls rate.

A physiotherapy program for training balance in association with focal mechanical vibration exerted by Equistasi® medical device might be superior than rehabilitation alone in improving patients’ balance.

A wearable proprioceptive stabilizer (Equistasi®) for rehabilitation of postural instability in Parkinson’s disease: a phase II randomized double-blind, double-dummy, controlled study.