University of Limerick
Shanahan_2017_Parkinsons.pdf (2.18 MB)

Dancing for Parkinson’s: a randomized trial of Irish set dancing compared to usual care

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posted on 2022-10-05, 09:55 authored by Joanne Shanahan, Meg E. Morris, ORFHLAITH NI BHRIAINORFHLAITH NI BHRIAIN, Daniele Volpe, Tim Lynch, AMANDA CLIFFORDAMANDA CLIFFORD
Objective: To examine the feasibility of a randomized controlled study design and to explore the benefits of a set dancing intervention compared with usual care. Design: Randomized controlled design, with participants randomized to Irish set dance classes or a usual care group. Setting: Community based. Participants: Individuals with idiopathic Parkinson disease (PD) (NZ90). Interventions: The dance group attended a 1.5-hour dancing class each week for 10 weeks and undertook a home dance program for 20 minutes, 3 times per week. The usual care group continued with their usual care and daily activities. Main Outcome Measures: The primary outcome was feasibility, determined by recruitment rates, success of randomization and allocation procedures, attrition, adherence, safety, willingness of participants to be randomized, resource availability, and cost. Secondary outcomes were motor function (motor section of the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale), quality of life (Parkinson’s Disease Questionnaire-39), functional endurance (6-min walk test), and balance (mini-BESTest). Results: Ninety participants were randomized (45 per group). There were no adverse effects or resource constraints. Although adherence to the dancing program was 93.5%, there was >40% attrition in each group. Postintervention, the dance group had greater nonsignificant gains in quality of life than the usual care group. There was a meaningful deterioration in endurance in the usual care group. There were no meaningful changes in other outcomes. The exit questionnaire showed participants enjoyed the classes and would like to continue participation. Conclusions: For people with mild to moderately severe PD, set dancing is feasible and enjoyable and may improve quality of life.



Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation;98, pp. 1744-51






This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 2017, 98, pp. 1744-51,



Department or School

  • Allied Health
  • Irish World Academy of Music & Dance

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