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The University of Southampton
Dancing with Parkinson’s Disease

Study details


People with PD (PwPD) frequently experience deterioration of spinal posture, mobility and stability, leading to dependency and falls.

There is growing evidence of the benefits of exercise for PwPD but research into the benefits of long-term exercises through leisure pursuits such as dance and self-help activities is very limited.


Determine the methodological feasibility of evaluating the benefits of dance as a precursor to a future phase III trial.
Examine the appropriateness of standard and project evolved, Primary and Secondary outcomes.

Specific questions of the feasibility study are:-

  1. How can we successfully recruit PwPD, healthy partners and dance centres to a randomised controlled trial (RCT) of dance based exercise?
  2. What are the most appropriate dances for PwPD?
  3. How frequent, and how much dance is reasonable and likely to result in benefit for PwPD and healthy partners?
  4. What specific adjustments do dance centres need to make regarding the delivery of dance to this group of people?
  5. What will retention to the 3 and 6 month follow-ups be?
  6. Will we be able to get good quality data on spinal posture, balance, turning and walking?
  7. Will we be able to get good quality data on self-reported health status and balance confidence?
  8. How appropriate and burdensome is the battery of assessments?

Study Design

A randomised controlled observer-blind feasibility study with two groups, dance and non dancing control.

We will Recruit 50 PwPD and 35 healthy partners and volunteers.

Primary outcomes are balance control and spinal posture at 3 and 6 months post-randomisation time points.

Secondary measures include self-reported measures of PD specific health status and balance confidence. In addition we have measures of turning, walking, fall events and health related quality of life questionaire.

Qualitative evaluation of experience and exploration of economic evaluation.


 Dancing with Parkinson's disease: feasibility randomised controlled trial is a project funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Research for Patent Benefit programme.


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