Rehabilitation, exercise therapy and music in patients with Parkinson's disease: a meta-analysis of the effects of music-based movement therapy on walking ability, balance and quality of life: a meta-analysis of the effects of music-based movement therapy on walking ability, balance and quality of life

M.J. de Dreu, A.S. van der Wilk, E. Poppe, G. Kwakkel, E.E.H. van Wegen

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Recent evidence suggests that music-based movement (MbM) therapy may be a promising intervention to improve gait and gait-related activities in Parkinson's disease (PD) patients, because it naturally combines cognitive movement strategies, cueing techniques, balance exercises and physical activity while focussing on the enjoyment of moving on music instead of the current mobility limitations of the patient. A meta-analysis of RCTs on the efficacy of MbM-therapy, including individual rhythmic music training and partnered dance classes, was performed. Identified studies (K = 6) were evaluated on methodological quality, and summary effect sizes (SES) were calculated. Studies were generally small (total N= 168). Significant homogeneous SESs were found for the Berg Balance Scale, Timed Up and Go test and stride length (SESs: 4.1,2.2,0.11; P-values <0.01; I(2) 0,0,7%, respectively). A sensitivity analysis on type of MbM-therapy (dance- or gait-related interventions) revealed a significant improvement in walking velocity for gait-related MbM-therapy, but not for dance-related MbM-therapy. No significant effects were found for UPDRS-motor score, Freezing of Gait and Quality of Life. Overall, MbM-therapy appears promising for the improvement of gait and gait-related activities in PD. Future studies should incorporate larger groups and focus on long-term compliance and follow-up.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114-119
JournalParkinsonism and Related Disorders
Issue numberS
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012


  • Cueing
  • Dance
  • Dance Therapy/methods
  • Exercise Therapy/methods
  • Exercise therapy
  • Humans
  • Music
  • Music Therapy/methods
  • Parkinson Disease/epidemiology
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Postural Balance/physiology
  • Quality of Life/psychology
  • Rhythm
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Walking/physiology

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