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Falling presents a major health challenge for individuals, families and physiotherapists. 

Free online physiotherapists course aims to reduce falls in people with Parkinson’s

Physiotherapists can now sign up for a free online programme to reduce the common and disabling problem of falls in people with Parkinson’s.

The new massive open access online learning course is based in PDSAFE - an NIHR-funded trial of home-based physiotherapy, the largest of its kind in the world to focus on reducing falls in people with Parkinson's.

Falling presents a major health challenge for individuals, families and physiotherapists. It also has a large detrimental effect on the lives of those living with Parkinson’s.

The PDSAFE clinical trial explored the latest personalised treatment for those suffering from mobility and stability issues in Parkinson’s. It found that falls prevention treatment for Parkinson’s should follow a multi-dimensional approach – including exercises, movement strategies, and functional practice.

Now, the PDSAFE team at the University of Exeter has teamed up with FutureLearn to offer a free course to educate physiotherapists in the core elements of PDSAFE - a mix of assessment, exercise and strategies to help people with Parkinson’s disease move more easily.

The new course will launch on 19th April 2021 and will be accessible to health care professionals from around the world.

Professor Ann Ashburn from the University of Southampton led the original trial. She said “I’m delighted to see the key learning points from our trial made accessible to physiotherapists across the world. I hope it will make a meaningful difference to preventing falls in people with Parkinson’s.” 

Professor Vicki Goodwin, of the University of Exeter, was one of the PDSAFE team involved in the original trial and in the course development. She said "Having access to an evidence-based and free online course to help improve the knowledge and skills of physiotherapists around the world will really benefit people with Parkinson's."

Professor Sallie Lamb, of the University of Exeter, added: “Avoiding falls and having more confidence to walk are important to people living with Parkinson’s. This course will help a range of health professionals to get up to date knowledge about techniques and who will benefit most, and I encourage physiotherapists to sign up and spread the word.”

To sign up, or find out more, visit

Date: 11 April 2021

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