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NeuroRehabilitation. 2013;32(1):117-24. doi: 10.3233/NRE-130828.

Community-based group exercise for persons with Parkinson disease: a randomized controlled trial.

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Krannert School of Physical Therapy, University of Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN 46227, USA.


The purpose of this study was to compare group boxing training to traditional group exercise on function and quality of life in persons with Parkinson disease (PD). A convenience sample of adults with PD (n = 31) were randomly assigned to boxing training or traditional exercise for 24-36 sessions, each lasting 90 minutes, over 12 weeks. Boxing training included: stretching, boxing (e.g. lateral foot work, punching bags), resistance exercises, and aerobic training. Traditional exercise included: stretching, resistance exercises, aerobic training, and balance activities. Participants were tested before and after completion of training on balance, balance confidence, mobility, gait velocity, gait endurance, and quality of life. The traditional exercise group demonstrated significantly greater gains in balance confidence than the boxing group (p < 0.025). Only the boxing group demonstrated significant improvements in gait velocity and endurance over time with a medium between-group effect size for the gait endurance (d = 0.65). Both groups demonstrated significant improvements with the balance, mobility, and quality of life with large within-group effect sizes (d ≥ 0.80). While groups significantly differed in balance confidence after training, both groups demonstrated improvements in most outcome measures. Supporting options for long-term community-based group exercise for persons with PD will be an important future consideration for rehabilitation professionals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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