Effects of water-based exercise on activities of daily living in Parkinson's disease patients
Crizzle, Alexander Michael
Master of Public Health
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Physical exercise plays an important role in reducing the physical and psychological symptoms of those who suffer from Parkinson’s Disease (PD). One form of exercise, water exercise, is a relatively untested means in the treatment of patients suffering from PD. Very few studies have tested the effects of such a program for PD patients. In this pilot study, four patients with PD aged 71-89 years of age followed a six week exercise program in water, three days weekly for a duration from 20 minutes up to one hour in an attempt to improve physical and psychological functions. Testing was done prior to and after the program. The study showed that patients improved on their physical strength, endurance and balance, however tests of perceived self confidence showed no difference between the beginning and end of the study. The results suggest that water exercise is a beneficial medium for PD patients to exercise in and is useful in maintaining and/or improving on strength, endurance and balance. Further research with a randomized controlled trial and a larger sample size is needed to verify the beneficial effects of water exercises for sufferers of PD.