Dance for Parkinson’s: A new framework for research on its physical, mental, emotional, and social benefits 

Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 06/18/2014 

This paper would like to propose the use of the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health as a possible framework for dance for Parkinson’s research.

Current research suggests pharmacological interventions do not sufficiently address all symptoms and thus alternative therapies have been deemed an important part of treatment for people with Parkinson’s. Dance has shown to be a beneficial activity for this population.

Parkinson’s is a neurodegenerative disease commonly associated with symptoms such as tremor, rigidity, bradykinesia, freezing during gait, motor control deficits and instability.

These physical symptoms can cause a myriad of psychological problems including depression, feelings of loneliness, and low self-esteem.Upon reviewing recent dance for Parkinson’s studies it is clear that there are developing trends with respect to overall approach.

The tendency to place more emphasis on changes to clinical signs is creating a gap whereby research neglects to look at how dance is influencing a particular individual in all aspects of their life.

There is a need for a framework that allows for and encourages the analysis of the dancing experience for people with Parkinson’s on a variety of levels including physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially.With such a framework it would be possible to triangulate the information gathered to draw stronger conclusions that are more meaningful to the people with Parkinson’s


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