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Dance therapy for individuals with Parkinson's disease: improving quality of life

Authors Hackney M, Bennett C

Received 19 November 2013

Accepted for publication 18 January 2014

Published 21 February 2014 Volume 2014:4 Pages 17—25


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Madeleine E Hackney,1–3 Crystal G Bennett4,5

1Veterans Affairs Rehabilitation R&D Center of Excellence, Atlanta, GA, USA; 2Birmingham-Atlanta VA Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center, Decatur, GA, USA; 3Division of General Medicine and Geriatrics, Department of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, USA; 4Department of Nursing, University of West Florida, Pensacola, FL, USA; 5Department of Adult and Elderly Nursing, College of Nursing, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA

Abstract: Parkinson's disease (PD) affects mobility and health-related quality of life (HRQOL), through a neurodegenerative disease process. Drugs and pharmacology do not fully address motor, cognitive, and psychosocial symptoms; therefore, adjunctive therapies have been researched for their efficacy at addressing these issues. One form of exercise, dance, has received attention because recent studies have demonstrated dance's ability to improve mobility and HRQOL in people with PD. The purpose of this integrative review was to present evidence supporting or refuting improved HRQOL in individuals with PD after participation in a dance- or music-based movement intervention. Potential mechanisms of HRQOL improvement are offered. Search terms including "Parkinson's disease", "dance", "quality of life", "exercise", "dance/movement therapy", and "music" were entered in groupings into PubMed, CINAHL®, EMBASE™, PsycINFO®, Web of Science™, and the Cochrane Library databases. Papers were included if they were randomized controlled trials, pilot studies, or case reports that were related to HRQOL and dance/movement and/or specifically related to determining the mechanisms potentially underlying dance effects. To date, the available research has been inconclusive in demonstrating that dance has a positive impact on HRQOL; however, further research is required. This review suggests that, at the very least, dance has the potential to impact the HRQOL and possibly the health behaviors of individuals with PD. Interventions for those with PD must be targeted and efficient. Going forward, research should explore mechanisms of dance's effects for those with neurodegenerative conditions in order to inform novel mobility rehabilitation that benefits HRQOL.

Keywords: exercise, music, QOL, mobility rehabilitation, intervention, neurodegenerative

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