There are currently two validated questionnaires, the Freezing of Gait Questionnaire and the New Freezing of Gait Questionnaire, that are intended to assess the degree of freezing of gait in patients with Parkinson's disease. However, to date no study has attempted to determine whether ratings on these questionnaires accurately reflect the severity (frequency and duration) of actual freezing episodes experienced by patients. We studied twenty-four patients with Parkinson's disease who self-reported significant freezing while in their practically-defined 'off' state. Prior to clinical assessment they completed both freezing of gait questionnaires before being video-recorded while performing a series of timed up-and-go tasks, which incorporated turning, rotating and passing through narrow gaps. The rating of video recordings by two independent observers identified a total of 530 freezing events. The frequency and duration of freezing episodes for each patient were calculated and correlated with questionnaire ratings. Scores on either questionnaire did not correlate with either the frequency or duration of freezing episodes experienced by patients during objective assessment. These results suggest the need to re-evaluate the utility of questionnaires in the assessment of freezing of gait. Furthermore, these results highlight the need for accurate objective methods of identifying freezing events when assessing future clinical interventions aimed at reducing this potentially disabling symptom of Parkinson's disease.
- Freezing of Gait
- Freezing of Gait Questionnaire
- New Freezing of Gait Questionnaire
- Parkinson's Disease
- Timed up-and-go task