A randomized controlled feasibility trial exploring partnered ballroom dancing for people with Parkinson's disease.Clin Rehabil. 2017 Oct; 31(10):1340-1350.CR
To determine the feasibility of a Dance Centre delivering a programme of mixed dances to people with Parkinson's and identify suitable outcomes for a future definitive trial.
A two-group randomized controlled feasibility trial.
People with Parkinson's were randomized to a control or experimental group (ratio 15:35), alongside usual care. In addition, participants in the experimental group danced with a partner for one hour, twice-a-week for 10 weeks; professional dance teachers led the classes and field-notes were kept. Control-group participants were given dance class vouchers at the end of the study. Blinded assessments of balance, mobility and function were completed in the home. Qualitative interviews were conducted with a subsample to explore the acceptability of dance.
A total of 51 people with Parkinson's (25 male) with Hoehn and Yahr scores of 1-3 and mean age of 71 years (range 49-85 years), were recruited to the study. Dance partners were of similar age (mean 68, range 56-91 years). Feasibility findings focused on recruitment (target achieved); retention (five people dropped out of dancing); outcome measures (three measures were considered feasible, changes were recommended). Proposed sample size for a Phase III trial, based on the 6-minute walk test at six months was 220. Participants described dance as extremely enjoyable and the instructors were skilled in instilling confidence and motivation. The main organizational challenges for a future trial were transport and identifying suitable dance partners.
We have demonstrated the feasibility of conducting the study through a Dance Centre and recommend a Phase III trial.