Economic evaluation of exercise-based fall prevention programs for people with Parkinson's disease: A systematic review

Stanley John Winser (Corresponding Author), Li Francis Paul, Leung Ka Long Magnus, Szeto Yan, Tsui Pui Shenug, Yuen Man Sing, Gladys Cheing

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: Falls are common in Parkinson's disease (PD). Exercise interventions can prevent falls. This review aims to (1) explore the existing evidence regarding the cost-effectiveness of exercise-based fall prevention programs for people with PD and (2) discuss the implications of the review findings for future research and clinical practice. Design: Databases AMED Allied and Complementary Medicine, CINAHL, CRD, EBSCO, EMBASE, MEDLINE, PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science were searched from their inception until June 2019. Randomized and nonrandomized trials that included an economic evaluation of fall prevention programs for people with PD were considered. Quality of the economic evaluation was assessed using the Consensus on Health Economic Criteria list (CHEC-list), and the methodological quality was assessed using the Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro) and Cochrane risk of bias tool. Results: Nine hundred and sixty-five studies were screened to include three studies involving 556 participants. Quality of economic evaluation assessed using CHEC-list was high. The methodological quality was high for two studies and low for one study. Tested interventions included Tai Ji Quan, physiotherapist-led, supervised, weekly and monthly balance, and strengthening exercises. The duration of the interventions ranged from 10 weeks to 6 months, while the intervention frequency ranged from two sessions per week to one session per month. Treatment sessions lasted for 60 min in all three studies. One high economic and methodological quality study comparing Tai Ji Quan with resistance and stretching exercises reported least cost resource use among Tai Ji Quan group (USD 80,441) and greater incremental number of falls prevented. All three tested interventions had an 80% probability of being cost-effective with the corresponding country-specific threshold incremental cost-effectiveness ratio values. Conclusions: The findings provide some evidence for exercise-based intervention as a cost-effective treatment option for preventing falls in PD; however, due to the limited number of available studies, heterogeneity of the interventions, and diversity of assessment settings, a firm conclusion cannot be established. Additional studies evaluating the cost-effectiveness of fall prevention programs involving larger samples and using different treatment parameters in various settings are warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1225-1237
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019


  • cost-effectiveness
  • economic evaluation
  • exercise
  • fall prevention
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Tai Ji Quan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine


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