alexa A Pilot Study: examining the effects and tolerability of structured dance intervention for individuals with multiple sclerosis.


International Journal of Neurorehabilitation

Author(s): Mandelbaum R, Triche EW, Fasoli SE, , Lo AC,

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Abstract PURPOSE: The aims of this pilot were to examine dance as a feasible intervention for persons with multiple sclerosis (MS), specifically to examine issues of tolerability and its longitudinal effects on participants. Dance is an enjoyable physical activity that has been investigated in other neurodegenerative populations but has yet to be studied in MS. METHOD: A 4-week, two 60-min classes per week, pilot salsa dance intervention was administered to eight individuals with MS. The outcomes measured were effects on gait, balance, self-efficacy, motivation, physical activity and MS symptoms. They were administered at baseline, immediately post-intervention and at 3- and 6-month follow-ups. RESULTS: Statistically significant pre-post intervention gains were found for the Timed Up and Go Test (TUG), Dynamic Gait Index (DGI), Activities-specific Balance Confidence Scale and Godin Leisure Time Questionnaire. Significant improvements were also found for the TUG, DGI and MS Walking Scale between baseline and 3-month follow-up assessments. Participants did not report any problems with fatigue or intolerability with the 60-min suggestions, further supporting the feasibility for the concept of a dance intervention. CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that dance for persons with MS may have promise for improving physical activity, gait and balance. IMPLICATIONS FOR REHABILITATION: Although structured dance has reported benefits in elderly populations and in individuals with cardiovascular and neurological impairments, there is virtually nothing known regarding dance in the MS population. This pilot salsa dance study shows that structured dance demonstrates promise of being well-tolerated, safe and effective at promoting physical activity in people with MS without increased fatigue. A 12-week study has been initiated to test the robustness of initial observations and further examine factors influencing participants' physical activity adherence and behavioral change. This article was published in Disabil Rehabil and referenced in International Journal of Neurorehabilitation

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