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STUDY: The Effects of Salsa Dance on Gait and Balance in Multiple Sclerosis

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  • STUDY: The Effects of Salsa Dance on Gait and Balance in Multiple Sclerosis

    The Effects of Salsa Dance on Gait and Balance in Multiple Sclerosis

    Rosalind Mandelbaum, Elizabeth W. Triche, Susan E. Fasoli, Albert Lo
    Providence, RI, USA

    OBJECTIVE: This pilot study examined whether a dance intervention increased physical activity, was well-tolerated, and improved gait, balance, self-efficacy, and fatigue in persons with multiple sclerosis.

    BACKGROUND: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, progressive disease associated with impaired mobility, postural control, and reduced physical activity. Studies have shown that physical activity and rehabilitation interventions can effectively reduce symptoms and improve quality of life for persons with MS. We hypothesized that a 4-week structured dance protocol would result in greater physical activity and improved performance on clinical measures, and that training sessions would be safe and well-tolerated.

    DESIGN/METHODS: Eight individuals with MS participated in dance sessions 2x/week for 40 minutes and were asked to perform physical activity independently for 30 minutes/week. Outcome measures included: Timed 25-Foot Walk Test (T25FW), MS Walking Scale (MSWS-12), Timed Up and Go (TUG), Dynamic Gait Index (DGI), Berg Balance Scale (BBS), MS Self-Efficacy Scale (MSSS), Activities-specific Balance Confidence (ABC) Scale, Godin Leisure Time Exercise Questionnaire, and the Patient Determined Disease Steps (PDDS). All measures were administered at baseline, post-intervention, and 3-month follow-up by a blinded evaluator. Wilcoxon signed rank tests compared pre- v. post- assessments, and pre- v. 3-month assessments.

    RESULTS: Statistically significant increases were found post intervention for the Godin (metabolic equivalents and time) (p=0.01), TUG (p=0.02) and MS Symptom Checklist (p=0.04). Pre-post changes on DGI (p=0.09) and ABC (p=0.09) were marginally associated with the intervention. Significantly improved scores at 3-month follow-up compared to pre-intervention were found for TUG (p=0.05), DGI (p=0.04) and MSWS-12 (p=0.05).

    CONCLUSIONS: Four weeks of dance intervention resulted in a) increased engagement in physical activity and exercise during intervention; and b) significant improvements on clinical measures of gait and balance post-intervention and at 3-month follow-up. The intervention was well-tolerated and no study-related adverse events occurred. A larger controlled study is underway.
    Dave Bexfield

  • #2
    I regularly do Zumba and found significant improvements in my balance, control with stumbling and picking up my feet, and overall coordination. I completely agree with this.