T.X.D. Nguyen1, M.-Y. Kuo1
1China Medical University, Department of Physical Therapy, Taichung, Taiwan

Background: Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder postural instability and gait deficits. These impairments challenge balance control in dynamic activities and increase fall incidents.  Tai Chi (TC) and Argentine tango (AT) have been chosen to improve dynamic postural control in patients with PD.  However, it remains unclear which training, TC versus AT, is more effective in improving balance control at different dynamic functional activities in patients with PD.

Purpose: The study aimed to compare the effects of TC and AT for balance control during dynamic activities in patients with PD.

Methods: Search-related data obtained from the Cochrane, CINAHL, PubMed, and the reference of relevant articles through December 2020 to identify randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of patients with PD comparing the effects of TC or TA with a control group on motor functions. Only published RCTs in English were considered.  The outcome measurements were balance, gait, functional mobility, and walking capacity.  Two researchers independently using the Cochrane risk of bias tool assessed the quality of eligible RCTs. Included studies were grouped according to outcome measures for TC and AT, and then effect size was estimated. Standardized mean difference (SMD) and 95% confidence intervals were calculated using random-effects models. An indirect comparison between the effect of TC and AT was performed for each parameter measuring as SMD in weight.

Results: 207 records were identified, 12 of which met inclusion criteria, and were meta-analysis, including six studies investigated the effects of TC, and six studies evaluated the effects of AT. A total of 504 idiopathic Parkinson participants with an average age of 66.7 years old. Overall, five papers measured changes in balance using Berg balance scale (BBS), ten papers evaluated mobility functional by Time up and go test (TUG), and six papers reported walking capacity using 6 minutes walking test (6MWT). In comparing the effect of TC with control group and AT with control group, three papers of TC and two papers of AT showed a statistical difference in BBS; two of TC and one of AT demonstrated significant improvement on TUG; only one of TC and four of AT presented change significantly on 6MWT.

Conclusion(s): Both AT and TC improve motor functions in patients with PD, but there is no significant difference between them in an indirect comparison.

Implications: The results encourage clinicians to use TC and AT training to improve balance function in patients with PD. The finding either may decision making support to choose a rational training strategy for patients with PD.

Funding, acknowledgements: Non-funding

Keywords: Parkinson’s disease, Tai Chi, Argentina Tango

Topic: Neurology: Parkinson's disease

Did this work require ethics approval? No
Institution: N/A
Committee: N/A
Reason: A systematic review

All authors, affiliations and abstracts have been published as submitted.

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