Document Type


Publication Date



Physical Therapy

Faculty Advisor

Sharon Held, PT, DPT, MS, PCS, C/NDT


Standardized outcome measures (SOM) are used in physical therapy clinical management to determine patient’s activity/participation abilities and limitations/restrictions, then develop outcomes/interventions. Neuromuscular therapists commonly manage patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD), a neurodegenerative condition of progressive rigidity, bradykinesia, tremor, instability, gait disturbance, and fall risk. Timed Up & Go (TUG), Sit-to-Stand (STS), and other SOMs are appropriate for patients with PD, however may not provide comprehensive assessments needed. The Standardized Walking Obstacle Course (SWOC) is a SOM that examines functional ambulation with varying task conditions, physical features, and environmental dimensions; however it is not fully validated for use with neuromuscular diseases, specifically PD. This presentation analyzes SOM current evidence, providing the foundation for future research examining the SWOC as a SOM for patients with PD. Study results could provide physical therapists with a stronger tool to assess functional ambulation, instability and fall risk thereby improve outcome/intervention planning for patients with PD.