Study Rationale: In this study, we will work with two underrepresented groups in Aotearoa, New Zealand, the Māori and Pacific peoples. By better understanding the clinical presentation of Parkinson’s disease (PD) in these populations, which are underrepresented in research, we anticipate that we can reduce existing health inequity. The rationale for this study is that Māori and Pacific peoples present diverse risk factors and protective mechanisms that may contribute to their disease progression. They also have limited access to health services for a variety of reasons, including the lack of culturally appropriate services.
Hypothesis: By adapting methodologies to suit the cultural needs of the Māori and Pacific peoples, we can improve functional mobility in individuals with PD in these underrepresented groups.
Study Design: For our primary objective, we propose a longitudinal study investigating the progression of PD motor and non-motor symptoms associated with mobility and fall risk in Māori and Pacific peoples with PD living in Aotearoa, New Zealand. We will assess 60 participants (30 Māori and 30 Pacific peoples). Our secondary objective is to investigate how the mobility and physical functionality of 30 Māori and 30 Pacific peoples with PD compares with that of healthy peers in their communities. To cater for participants’ cultural needs, we will use Māori and Pacific methodologies.
Impact on Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease: By consulting with Māori and Pacific participants, communities and health care services, we hope to develop a new model for assessing PD in a manner that is culturally inclusive and will reduce clinical inequities.
Next Steps for Development: This model can be adopted by other researchers and health professionals to direct the development and adoption of equitable non-pharmacological treatments for PD, such as accessible physical activity programs and neurorehabilitation, improving functional mobility and reducing falls risk for Māori and Pacific peoples.