Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP) is the most frequent form of atypical Parkinsonism. Although there is preliminary evidence for the benefits of gait rehabilitation, balance training and oculomotor exercises in PSP, the quality of reporting of exercise therapies appears mixed. The current investigation aims to evaluate the comprehensiveness of reporting of exercise and physical activity interventions in the PSP literature.
Two independent reviewers used the Consensus on Exercise Reporting Template (CERT) to extract all exercise intervention data from 11 studies included in a systematic review. CERT items covered: ‘what’ (materials), ‘who’ (instructor qualifications), ‘how’ (delivery), ‘where’ (location), ‘when’, ‘how much’ (dosage), ‘tailoring’ (what, how), and ‘how well’ (fidelity) exercise delivery complied with the protocol. Each exercise item was scored ‘1’ (adequately reported) or ‘0’ (not adequately reported or unclear). The CERT score was calculated, as well as the percentage of studies that reported each CERT item.
The CERT scores ranged from 3 to 12 out of 19. No PSP studies adequately described exercise elements that would allow exact replication of the interventions. Well-described items included exercise equipment, exercise settings, exercise therapy scheduling, frequency and duration. Poorly described items included decision rules for exercise progression, instructor qualifications, exercise adherence, motivation strategies, safety and adverse events associated with exercise therapies.
The results revealed variability in the reporting of physical therapies for people living with PSP. Future exercise trials need to more comprehensively describe equipment, instructor qualifications, exercise and physical activity type, dosage, setting, individual tailoring of exercises, supervision, adherence, motivation strategies, progression decisions, safety and adverse events.
Although beneficial for people living with PSP, exercise and physical therapy interventions have been inadequately reported. It is recommended that evidence-based reporting templates be utilised to comprehensively document therapeutic exercise design, delivery and evaluation.