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Parkinsonism Relat Disord. 2009 Nov;15(9):644-8. doi: 10.1016/j.parkreldis.2009.03.003. Epub 2009 Mar 28.

Health-related quality of life and alternative forms of exercise in Parkinson disease.

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  • 1Program in Physical Therapy, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO 63108, USA.


Parkinson disease (PD) reduces health-related quality of life (HRQoL), but exercise may improve HRQoL. This pilot study compared the effects of Tango, Waltz/Foxtrot, Tai Chi and No Intervention on HRQoL in individuals with PD. Seventy-five persons with PD (Hoehn and Yahr I-III) were assigned to 20 lessons of Tango, Waltz/Foxtrot, Tai Chi, or an untreated No Intervention group. Participants completed the PDQ-39 before and after participation in 20 classes or within 13 weeks in the case of the No Intervention group. Two-way repeated measures ANOVAs determined differences between interventions. Tango significantly improved on mobility (p=0.03), social support (p=0.05) and the PDQ-39 SI (p<0.01) at post-testing. No significant changes in HRQoL were noted in the Waltz/Foxtrot, Tai Chi or No Intervention. Tango may be helpful for improving HRQoL in PD because it addresses balance and gait deficits in the context of a social interaction that requires working closely with a partner.

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