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Dancing and Parkinson’s disease: updates on this creative approach to therapy

Authors Shanahan J, Morris ME, Ní Bhriain O, Volpe D, Clifford AM

Received 1 June 2017

Accepted for publication 18 August 2017

Published 26 September 2017 Volume 2017:7 Pages 43—53

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JPRLS.S125387

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Peter Hedera


Joanne Shanahan,1 Meg E Morris,2 Orfhlaith Ní Bhriain,3 Daniele Volpe,4 Amanda M Clifford1

1Department of Clinical Therapies, Faculty of Education and Health Sciences, University of Limerick, Co. Limerick, Ireland; 2Department of Physiotherapy, School of Allied Health, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Australia; 3Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, Department of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Limerick, Co. Limerick, Ireland; 4Department of Neurorehabilitation, Casa di Cura Villa Margherita, Vicenza, Italy

Introduction: Parkinson’s disease (PD) is associated with slowness of movement and balance disturbance. Anxiety and social isolation are common and quality of life (QoL) can be compromised. Dancing enables people with PD to participate in an enjoyable form of exercise within a group. This review provides an updated synthesis of the literature comparing dance to other interventions in people with PD.
Methods: Six databases were electronically searched. Relevant articles were identified using inclusion criteria. Data on participants, the dance intervention, and outcomes were extracted from suitable articles.
Results: Methodological limitations were evident in 13 included articles. The evidence reviewed suggests that dancing is enjoyable and can improve balance, motor function, and QoL. Further research is needed to determine the effect of dancing on cognition and depression in this population. Longer term dance interventions may be needed to achieve more meaningful benefits in mobility.
Conclusion: Dancing can be a feasible and beneficial physical activity and improve the wellness of individuals with PD.

Keywords: Parkinson’s disease, dance, physical activity

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