Original article| Volume 93, ISSUE 10, P1709-1714, October 2012

Feasibility of 2 Different Water-Based Exercise Training Programs in Patients With Parkinson's Disease: A Pilot Study

Published:April 12, 2012DOI:


      Ayán C, Cancela J. Feasibility of 2 different water-based exercise training programs in patients with Parkinson's disease: a pilot study.


      To compare the effects of 2 different water-based exercise training programs on functional mobility, motor symptoms, and quality of life (QOL) on patients with mild to moderate Parkinson's disease (PD).


      Matched, controlled, pilot study.


      Outpatient Parkinson's disease center.


      Patients (N=21) with PD (Hoehn and Yahr stage range, 1–3).


      Participants were assigned to a low-intensity water exercise program (group 1) or a muscular resistance water exercise intervention (group 2). Group sessions were held for 12 weeks, twice a week for 60 minutes per session.

      Main Outcome Measures

      Functional mobility was measured by means of the Five Times Sit-to-Stand Test, while the motor part of the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale was used to assess motor impairment. Patients' QOL was rated by means of the 39-item Parkinson's Disease Questionnaire.


      Once the intervention ended, the participants' QOL improved significantly, regardless of the program undertaken (P=.02 for group 1; P=.005 for group 2). Only participants in group 2 showed a significant change in functional mobility (P=.001) and Parkinsonian motor symptoms (P=.012).


      Water-based exercise training programs are a helpful therapy in PD. Muscular resistance programs of this kind seem to be of value in improving functional mobility, motor symptoms, and QOL in patients with PD. Some of the methodologic aspects detailed here can be used to design larger controlled trials.

      Key Words

      List of Abbreviations:

      FTSTS (Five Times Sit-to-Stand), H&Y (Hoehn and Yahr), PD (Parkinson's disease), PDQ-39 (39-item Parkinson's Disease Questionnaire), QOL (quality of life), UPDRS (Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale)
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