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Parkinson’s Disease
Volume 2010, Article ID 483530, 9 pages
Research Article

Walking with Music Is a Safe and Viable Tool for Gait Training in Parkinson's Disease: The Effect of a 13-Week Feasibility Study on Single and Dual Task Walking

1Department of Kinesiology, University of Lethbridge, 4401 University Drive, Lethbridge, AB, Canada T1K 3M4
2Faculty of Health Professions, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada B3H 1R2
3Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Calgary, 3330 Hospital Drive NW, Calgary, AB, Canada T2N 4N1
4Department of Medical Genetics, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada T2N 4N1

Received 12 November 2009; Revised 19 March 2010; Accepted 8 June 2010

Academic Editor: Pablo Martinez-Martin

Copyright © 2010 Natalie de Bruin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study explored the viability and efficacy of integrating cadence-matched, salient music into a walking intervention for patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). Twenty-two people with PD were randomised to a control (CTRL, š¯‘› = 1 1 ) or experimental (MUSIC, š¯‘› = 1 1 ) group. MUSIC subjects walked with an individualised music playlist three times a week for the intervention period. Playlists were designed to meet subject's musical preferences. In addition, the tempo of the music closely matched ( Ā± 1 0 –15 bpm) the subject's preferred cadence. CTRL subjects continued with their regular activities during the intervention. The effects of training accompanied by “walking songs” were evaluated using objective measures of gait score. The MUSIC group improved gait velocity, stride time, cadence, and motor symptom severity following the intervention. This is the first study to demonstrate that music listening can be safely implemented amongst PD patients during home exercise.