The treatment of medical and neurological illness is complicated by emotional factors. Dance/movement therapy is of potential benefit in such circumstances. The specific hypothesis was that dance/movement therapy would be more effective than exercise in the outpatient treatment of patients with Parkinson's disease. In a group setting, the effects of six weekly dance/movement therapy sessions on the neurological and emotional status of Parkinsonian patients were examined. A six week period of an ongoing exercise group was used in a crossover design as a control. Improvements in movement initiation were seen during the one-hour dance/movement therapy sessions, but not during the exercise groups. Although subjective improvements in mood were also apparent in the dance/movement therapy group, no statistically significant improvement in mild depressive symptoms could be documented. These results suggest that dance/movement therapy is useful as an additional approach in the treatment of Parkinson's disease patients.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Adams, R. D. & Victor, M. (1985).Principles of neurology (3rd ed.) New York, McGraw-Hill.
Adler, J. (1974). The study of an autistic child.ADTA Combined Proceedings for 3rd & 4th Annual Conferences (pp. 43–48). Columbia, Md: American Dance Therapy Association.
Beck, A. (1967).Depression: Clinical, experimental, and theoretical aspects. N. Y.: Harper & Row.
Berrol, C. & Katz, S. (1985). Dance/Movement Therapy in the rehabilitation of individuals surviving severe head injuries.American Journal of Dance Therapy, 8 46–66.
Chaiklin, H. (Ed.)Marian Chace: Her papers. Columbia, MD: American Dance Therapy Association.
Davis, M. (1978). Movement characteristics of hospitalized psychiatric patients. InTherapy in motion (pp. 89–108) M.N. Costonis (Ed.). Urbana: Univ. of Illinois Press.
Fierger, H. C. (1984). The neurobiological substrates of depression in Parkinson's disease: A hypothesis.The Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences, 11 105–107.
Folstein, M., Robinson, R., Folstein, S. & McHugh, P. (1985). Depression and neurological disorders, new treatment opportunities for elderly depressed patients.Journal of Affective Disorders, 11–14.
Freedman, A., Kaplan, H., Sadock, B. (1976).Comprehensive textbook of psychiatry (2nd ed.). Baltimore: William & Wilkins.
Kalish, B. (1974). Body movement therapy for autistic children.ADTA Combined Proceedings for 3rd & 4th Annual Conferences. Columbia, Md: American Dance Therapy Association, 49–59.
Marsden, C. & Schachter, M. (1981). Assessment of extrapyramidal disorders.British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 11 129–151.
Mayeux, R., Stern, Y., Rosen, J., Leventhal, J. (1981). Depression, intellectual impairment, and Parkinson disease.Neurology, 31 645–650.
Schap, J. F., Bialow, M. R., Clemmons, R. S., Martin, P. C. & Holzer, C. E. (1967). The Beck depression index in medical inpatients.Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavia, 43 255–266.
Taylor, A., Saint-Cyr, J., Lang, A. & Kenny, F. (1986). Parkinson's disease and depression, a critical re-evaluation.Brain, 109 279–292.
Todes, D. (1984). Idiopathic Parkinson's disease and depression: a psychosomatic view.Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry, 47 298–301.
Wise, S. K. (1981). Integrating the use of music in movement therapy for patients with spinal cord injuries.American Journal of Dance Therapy, 4 (1), 42–51.
We wish to acknowledge support from the Marian Chace Memorial Fund. We thank Dr. Richard Burns for his assistance, the Greater Washington Parkinsonian Society for their participation in this study, and Dr. Gary Westbrook for neurological evaluation of patients.
About this article
Cite this article
Westbrook, B.K., McKibben, H. Dance/movement therapy with groups of outpatients with Parkinson's disease. Am J Dance Ther 11, 27–38 (1989). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00844264
- Depressive Symptom
- Emotional Status
- Disease Patient
- Therapy Group
- Exercise Group