Acta Neurologica Belgica

, Volume 119, Issue 2, pp 193–200 | Cite as

Mental health in Parkinson’s disease after receiving aquatic therapy: a clinical trial

  • Sagrario Pérez-de la CruzEmail author
Original Article


Depression is a major determinant of quality of life in individuals with Parkinson’s disease. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of a program of Ai Chi aquatic therapy on pain, depression and quality of life in people with Parkinson’s disease. Participants were randomized to receive dry land physiotherapy treatment (control group) or aquatic Ai Chi sessions in the pool (experimental group). The outcome measures used included the VAS pain scale, the Geriatric Depression Scale and the SF-36 quality of life scale. In the experimental group treated with aquatic therapy, significant differences were found in the pain, depression and quality of life variables post-treatment (p < 0.001). In the control group, improvements were only observed in the VAS pain scale, and these were less significant than the changes found in the experimental group (p = 0.006). The significant changes registered in the experimental group at the post-treatment assessment were maintained 1 month after completing the experimental intervention program. In conclusion, these findings indicate that physical exercise performed in water has positive effects on some of the factors that influence mood and quality of life in people with Parkinson’s disease.


Depression Exercise Parkinson’s disease Pain Quality of life 



This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The author declares that there is no conflict of interest.

Ethical standards

The study procedures were performed according to the Declaration of Helsinki, and approved by the Bioethics Committee of the main author’s institution (UALBIO2017/008).

Informed consent

All participants signed an informed consent form prior to participating in the study and during an informative session presenting the study.


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Copyright information

© Belgian Neurological Society 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Nursing, Physiotherapy and MedicineUniversity of AlmeríaAlmeríaSpain

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