Course Report: Allied Health Team Training for Parkinson's Disease

Allied Health Team Training for Parkinson's Disease
São Paulo, Brazil - September 10-12, 2015

Course participants gather in Sao Paolo, Brazil..This was the first Allied Health Team Training (AHTT) for Parkinson’s disease (PD) course in Latin America.  The three-day course was designed to increase knowledge about PD and to build capacity for comprehensive inter-professional care in the treatment of PD through state-of-the-art lectures, interactive discipline, specific breakout lectures, interactive multidisciplinary breakout lectures, live patient examination and a caregiver discussion panel.

The course was attended by 114 participants including: nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech language pathologists, psychologists, dance teachers, nutritionist, pharmacists, and physicians from Brazil, Chile, and Uruguay.

The most important innovation in this AHTT edition consisted of using the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) from World Health Organization (2001) as a framework for inter-professional care for PD. Initially there were talks on PD, including diagnostic criteria, motor and cognitive symptoms, medical and surgery treatment. This was followed by practical activities started based on the ICF. The first step was building of an interdisciplinary team, separating discipline specific groups in order to discuss the specific issues for each professional area according to ICF domains.

Afterward, practical activities were developed consisting of live evaluations of patients in early, intermediate and advanced stages of Parkinsonism. Finally, the inter-disciplinary treatment for each of the patients was built and discussed in a plenary session. In the latter, the faculty and attendees brainstormed and discussed the best practice for inter-professional care of PD. The course was very well evaluated by the participants who had a strong active role for building the framework for interprofessional care in Parkinson’s disease.

Furthermore, as a complementary activity, an opportunity was offered to all attendees and faculty to participate in a guided visit to the Brazilian Parkinson Association (BPA), the largest Brazilian PD patient organization. The visitors not only became familiar with the rehabilitation programs offered by ABP but also heard the choral of patients and participated in a dance class together with patients.

A special thanks to the Edmond J. Safra Philanthropic Foundation for funding a very successful educational event in São Paulo. The generated knowledge and building of professional relationships through attending this course will greatly benefit the care of people with PD in Latin America.  

Course Directors

Maria Elisa Pimentel Piemonte, PT, PhD - Brazil, São Paulo
Department of Physical Therapy, Speech Therapy and Occupational Therapy of Medical School of University of Sao Paulo

Carlos R. M. Rieder, MD, PhD - Porto Alegre, Brazil
Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre, Universidade Federal Ciências da Saúde de Porto Alegre (UFCSPA)

Course Faculty


Irene Litvan, MD - San Diego, California, USA
University of California San Diego

Henrique Balallai Ferraz, MD - São Paulo, Brazil
Movement Disorders Unit, Escola Paulista de Medicina, Universidade Federal de São Paulo

Egberto Reis Barbosa, MD - São Paulo, Brazil
Head of Movement Disorders Clinic of Hospital das Clinicas da Universidade de São Paulo

Francisco Cardoso MD, PhD, FAAN - Belo Horizonte, Brazil
MDS-PAS Chair, Professor of Neurology, The Federal University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil

Chien Hsin Fen, MD, PhD - São Paulo, Brazil
University of São Paulo

Marcel Simis, MD PhD - São Paulo, Brazil
Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (IMREA HC FMUSP)


Manoel Jacobsen Teixeira, MD - São Paulo, Brazil

Physical Therapy

Terry Ellis, PT, PhD, NCS - Boston, MA, USA
Assistant Professor, Director: Center for Neurorehabilitation, Department of Physical Therapy & Athletic Training, Boston University

Felipe Augusto dos Santos Mendes, PT, PhD - Brasília, Brazil
Doutor em Neurociências e Comportamento - USP, Professor Adjunto do Curso de Fisioterapia da Universidade de Brasília           

Speech Therapy

Lorraine A. Ramig, PhD, CCC-SLP - Boulder, CO, USA
University of Colorado-Boulder, LSVT Global, Inc.

Elisabete Carrara-Angelis, PhD - São Paulo, Brazil

Letícia Lessa Mansur - São Paulo, Brazil

Giovana L. A. Diaféria, MS - São Paulo, Brazil

Associação Brasil Parkinson e Centro de Estudos da Voz

Occupational Therapy, Nursing, Neuropyschology

Ruth A Hagestuen, RN, MA - Golden Valley, MN, USA
National Parkinson Foundation & Struthers Parkinson's Center 

Kátia Osternack Pinto, PhD - São Paulo, Brazil

Michelle HS Tosin, Mestranda em Enfermagem/UFF - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rede Sarah de Hospitais de Reabilitação, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

Maria Helena Morgani de Almeida, PhD - São Paulo, Brazil
Occupational Therapy Course, University of São Paulo