BACKGROUND: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, beneficial physical intervention classes for individuals with Parkinson's disease (PD) were cancelled .
OBJECTIVE: To understand effects of the COVID-19 stay-at-home mandate and the inability to participate in recommended and structured physical interventions as a consequence of these mandates, specifically designed mobile assessments were used that collected both self-reporting information and objective task-based metrics of neurocognitive functions to assess symptom changes for individuals with PD .
METHODS: Self-reporting questionnaires focusing on overall quality of life (e.g., when individuals typically feel at their best, changes in activity levels, and symptom progression) were given to all individuals (nâ=â28). In addition, mobile-based neurocognitive assessments were administered to a subset of the population (nâ=â8) to quantitatively assess changes due to COVID-19 restrictions .
RESULTS: The highest self-reported factors in which individuals denoted feeling their best were after exercise (67.86 %) and being in a comfortable and supportive environment (60.71 %). Objective measures found overall duration of physical activity during the stay-at-home mandate decreased significantly (pâ=â0.022). With the lack of overall activity , 82.14% of individuals self-reported having at least one symptom that worsened moderately or higher . Further testing, using mobile-based assessments, showed average completion times of functional tasks increased, taking about 2.1 times longer, while accuracy metrics showed overall degradation .
CONCLUSION: Although the COVID-19 stay-at-home mandate was intended to help protect individuals at high risk from coming into contact with the virus, it also prevented individuals from receiving recommended supervised exercise interventions resulting in significant negative effects in social well-being and across motor and speech neurocognitive tasks for individuals with PD.