M. Elpidoforou1, D. Bakalidou2,1, L. Stefanis3
1Laboratory of Neuromuscular and Cardiovascular Study of Motion – LANECASM, University of West Attica, Athens, Greece, 2University of West Attica, Physiotherapy, Athens, Greece, 3National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Medical School, Aiginition Hospital, Athens, Greece

Background: Dance may be beneficial in patients with Parkinson’s Disease (PD). Dance for Parkinson’s Disease or Dance for PD® (DfPD®) is a structured dance program developed in USA in 2001 specifically for PD patients; this program has never been evaluated in Greek PD population.

Purpose: We sought to assess the feasibility of DfPD® in Greek PD patients and its effects on movement and non-movement symptoms and quality of life in a phase II prospective, non-randomized, uncontrolled, open-label pilot study.

Methods: Sixteen early-stage (≤2,5 – H&Y Scale) PD patients (50% male, aged 56±12) underwent a total of 16 60-min classes of DfPD® (twice weekly), over 8 weeks. Dance classes were adjusted to Greek music and dance culture. Assessments, performed at baseline and at the end of study period, included balance (BBS), depressive symptoms (BDI-II), quality of life (PDQ-8), cognitive functions (MoCA), fatigue (PFS-16) and body mass index (BMI).

Results: At baseline, worse quality of life was correlated with greater depressive symptoms (r=0,64, p=0,007), while fatigue was correlated positively with depressive symptoms (r=0,57, p=0,020) and inversely with balance (r=-0,69, p=0,002). DfPD® resulted in statistically significant improvements in balance (5±4%, p=0,003), depressive symptoms (26±52%, p=0,046), quality of life (29±47%, p=0,020), cognitive function (17±23%, p=0,010), fatigue (13±20%, p=0,021) and BMI (2±2%, p=0,010). Significant improvement in BMI after the intervention was found to those who have been working (r=-0,69, p=0,007) as well as to those with the greater improvement in cognitive functions (r=-0,77, p=0,001).

Conclusion(s): A twice weekly 60-min DfPD® class for 8 weeks was feasible in Greek PD patients and improved fatigue and quality of life.

Implications: DfPD® is a feasible non-pharmacological complementary therapeutic intervention for Greek PD patients. Larger controlled studies are warranted to confirm the above encouraging results.

Funding, acknowledgements: No external funding was provided.

Keywords: Dance for PD®, Fatigue, Quality of Life

Topic: Neurology: Parkinson's disease

Did this work require ethics approval? Yes
Institution: National and Kapodistrian University of Athens Medical School
Committee: Aiginition’s Hospital Ethics and Research Committee
Ethics number: ΑΔΑ: ΩΖ1Θ46418Ν2-ΝΗΝ

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

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