A dance program to improve gait and balance in individuals with chronic stroke: a feasibility study
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Background and Objective Despite gains made with rehabilitation, gait and balance remain limited post-stroke. Dance is a fun and motivating activity which has shown benefits in individuals with Parkinson's disease. The purpose of this article is to investigate the feasibility of a dance program for individuals with chronic stroke. Methods Pre-post intervention feasibility study where twenty individuals with chronic stroke participated in a dance class twice a week for 10 weeks. Feasibility measures included interest, enrollment, attendance, adverse events, and participant satisfaction. Outcomes of interest were spatiotemporal gait parameters and balance assessed with the MiniBESTest before and after the dance program. Pre and post measures were compared with paired t-tests. Results Of the 33 individuals approached, 30 (90.9%) were interested in participating; however, scheduling conflicts were a common barrier. Ultimately, 22 individuals consented and 20 individuals completed the dance program without adverse events. The mean age was 62.3 (10.4) years, time post-stroke was 6.4 (6.0) years and National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score was 3.1 (2.0). Average attendance was 92.5% with 10 classes missed across 8 participants and satisfaction ratings were high (e.g. 17/20 strongly agreed they enjoyed the program). No significant differences in spatiotemporal gait parameters were found; however, MiniBESTest scores significantly increased from 16.5 (6.0) to 18.6 (4.9) (p = 0.0005). Discussion and Conclusions A dance program is safe and feasible post-stroke. Attendance and satisfaction were high and participants perceived walking and balance benefits. Future work will include a randomized controlled trial.
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