Perceptions of a Videogame-Based Dance Exercise Program among Individuals with Parkinson's Disease

Lauren R. Natbony, Audra Zimmer, Larry S. Ivanco, Stephanie A. Studenski, Samay Jain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Objective: Physical therapy, including exercise, improves gait and quality of life in Parkinson's disease (PD). Many programs promoting physical activity have generated significant short-term gains, but adherence has been a problem. A recent evidence-based analysis of clinical trials using physical therapy in PD patients produced four key treatment recommendations: cognitive movement strategies, physical capacity, balance training, and cueing. We have attempted to incorporate all four of these features together through a dance exercise program using the dance videogame "Dance Dance Revolution" (DDR) (Konami Digital Entertainment, El Segundo, CA). Subjects and Methods: Sixteen medically stable participants with mild to moderate PD were given the opportunity to try DDR with supervision by a research staff member. Feedback about the advantages and disadvantages of DDR as a form of physical activity was elicited through focus groups using the nominal group technique. Results: Of 21 advantages and 17 disadvantages elicited, the most frequently cited advantages were "fun" and "easy to use," followed by "improves balance or coordination," "challenging," and "full body aerobic activity." Common concerns were the distracting or confusing interface, cost, and possible technical issues. Discussion: Interactive dance exercise was appealing to participants with PD and may help promote adherence to physical activity. Concerns regarding familiarity with the technology may be addressed with simplification of the interface or additional training for participants. Results support a larger longitudinal study of DDR in PD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-239
Number of pages5
JournalGames for health journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2013
Externally publishedYes


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