Effects of Ai Chi on balance, quality of life, functional mobility, and motor impairment in patients with Parkinson's disease.
Disabil Rehabil. 2018 Apr ;40(7):791-797. Epub 2017 Jan 13. PMID: 28084851
Emine Eda Kurt
PURPOSE: In this study, we aimed to investigate effects of Ai Chi on balance, functional mobility, health-related quality of life, and motor impairment in patients with Parkinson's disease.
METHOD: This study was conducted as an open-label randomized controlled trial (ISRCTN26292510) with repeated measures. Forty patients with Parkinson's disease stages 2 to 3 according to the Hoehn and Yahr Scale were randomly allocated to either an Ai Chi exercise group or a land-based exercise control group for 5 weeks. Balance was measured using the Biodex-3,1 and the Berg Balance Scale. Functional mobility was evaluated using the Timed Up and Go Test. Additionally, health-related quality of life and motor activity were assessed with the Parkinson's Disease Questionnaire-39 and the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale-III.
RESULTS: Although patients in both groups showed significant improvement in all outcome variables, improvement of dynamic balance was significantly greater in the Ai Chi group (p < 0.001), Berg Balance Scale (p < 0.001), Timed Up and Go Test (p = 0.002), Parkinson's Disease Questionnaire-39 (p < 0.001), Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale-III (p < 0.001).
CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that an Ai Chi exercise program improves balance, mobility, motor ability, and quality of life. In addition, Ai Chi exercise was more effective as an intervention than land-based exercise in patients with mild to moderate Parkinson's disease. Implications for rehabilitation Ai Chi exercises (aquatic exercises) may help improve balance, functional mobility, health-related quality of life, and motor ability in patients with mild to moderate Parkinson's disease more efficiently than similar land-based exercises. Ai Chi exercises should be considered as a rehabilitation option for treatment of patients with mild or moderate Parkinson's disease.