Effects of dance on balance and gait in severe Parkinson disease: a case study.
Disabil Rehabil. 2010;32(8):679-84. PMID: 20205582
Program in Physical Therapy, Washington University School of Medicine, Saint Louis, Missouri, USA.
PURPOSE: Dance may improve functional mobility in individuals with mild-to-moderate Parkinson disease (PD), yet dance effects in severe PD remain unexamined. This study's purpose was to evaluate the feasibility and effects of partnered tango classes on balance, endurance and quality of life in an individual with severe PD. DESIGN: Over 10 weeks, the participant attended 20, 1-h tango classes for individuals with PD. Balance, walking, and quality of life were evaluated before and after the intervention and at a 1-month follow-up in this single case design. Caregiver burden was also assessed at all time points. RESULTS: The participant improved on the Berg Balance Scale, 6-min walk test, and functional reach. He reported increased balance confidence and improved quality of life as measured by the Parkinson Disease Questionnaire-39 summary index. Gains were maintained at the 1-month follow-up. Caregiver burden increased from baseline immediately post-intervention and at follow-up. CONCLUSION: Twenty partnered tango lessons improved balance, endurance, balance confidence, and quality of life in a participant with severe PD. This is the first report of the use of dance as rehabilitation for an individual with advanced disease who primarily used a wheelchair for transportation.