Nova Southeastern University Office of Academic Affairs Search NSU Site Map Nova Southeastern University
President's Faculty R & D Grant 
Committees, Councils
  and Boards
Faculty Policy Manual
NSU Scholarly Journals
Professional Journals
Prof. Memberships
Academic Policies & Procedures
Provost's Research and Scholarship Award
President's Faculty
 R & D Grant
PFRDG Application Review Process by NSU Librarians
Office of Academic Quality, Assessment, and Accreditation
Contact Us

Print this page  


With a focus on learning, we employ a range of strategies to support innovation, collaboration across centers, and university-wide discussion and decision-making


Fifth Annual Grant Winners 2004-2005

Mary Blackinton, Ed.D., HPD – College of Allied Health and Nursing
Martha Wichert, PT, Sanford Ziff Health Care Center
Tommie Boyd, Ph.D., Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Lisa Kelledy, M.S., Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Cynthia Rebholz, B.A., Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Dean Richard Davis, HPD - College of Allied Health and Nursing
Chief Executive Officer Robert Oller, NSU Clinics
Dean Honggang Yang, Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Title: Development and Evaluation of a Multi-Disciplinary Community-Based Program for People with Parkinson’s Disease and Their Caregivers


Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a chronic, progressive movement disorder that affects 1 out of every 1000 people aged 65 and older, and 1 out of every 100 people 75 years and older. PD results in increased risks for falls, injuries, and hospitalizations, impacting the quality of life of the individual and entire family system. Research indicates that intensive exercise can increase strength, balance, mobility, and sense of well being in people with PD; but referral to therapy is often made only after functional decline. Depression is the most prevalent psychosocial issue in this population, yet it is rarely addressed using a family therapy approach. Currently, there are no interdisciplinary programs in the tri-county area that address both exercise and family therapy, and no studies have investigated this combination of services.

This proposal outlines the development of a community-based, interdisciplinary program for people with PD and their caregivers that combines a structured exercise program with family/caregiver counseling. A quasi-experimental research design will be used to compare the effects of an exercise only (control) group to one that receives exercise plus family counseling (experimental) group. Volunteer subjects from local support groups will be randomly assigned into control/experimental groups. All subjects will participate in a structured exercise program 3 times weekly for 10 weeks, while the experimental group and their caregivers will also participate in family counseling once per week for 10 weeks. The 5 dependent variables measure mobility, motor function, balance, quality of life, and relationship functioning. A repeated measures ANOVA will be used to measure the dependent variables at 4 points in time: pre-test, week 5, week 10, and 6 weeks post program.

If funded, this program will increase NSU’s potential to become a Center of Excellence for the National Parkinson Foundation and enhance our ability to seek national research grants.