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Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy:
doi: 10.1519/JPT.0b013e31823ae6ea
Case Reports

Application of Adapted Tango as Therapeutic Intervention for Patients With Chronic Stroke

Hackney, Madeleine E. PhD1,2; Hall, Courtney D. PT, PhD3,4; Echt, Katharina V. PhD1,2; Wolf, Steven L. PT, PhD1,5

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Abstract

Background and Purpose: Dance has demonstrated beneficial effects on mobility in older individuals with movement disorders; yet, effects of partnered dance remain unexamined in individuals with chronic stroke. The purpose of this study was to describe the effects of adapted tango classes on balance, mobility, gait, endurance, dual-task ability, quality of life (QOL), and enjoyment in an older individual with chronic stroke and visual impairment.

Case Description: D.L. was a 73-year-old African American man, 13 years poststroke with spastic hemiplegia, visual impairment, and multiple comorbidities.

Intervention: D.L. attended 20 1?-hour tango classes adapted for older individuals with sensory and motor impairments over 11 weeks.

Outcomes: Measures of balance, mobility, gait, endurance, dual-task ability, and QOL were evaluated before and after the intervention and at 1-month follow-up. D.L. improved on the Berg Balance Scale, 30-s chair stand, Timed Up and Go (single, manual, and cognitive conditions), 6-Minute Walk Test, and backward gait speed. Not all measures improved: balance confidence decreased, and there was no change in forward and fast gait speed or QOL, as measured by the Short Form-12 and the Visual Function Questionnaire–25. Some gains were maintained at one-month follow-up. D.L. reported enjoying the classes, noted improvement in physical well-being, and wanted to continue the program.

Discussion: Thirty hours of adapted tango lessons improved balance, mobility, endurance, and dual-task ability in a participant with chronic stroke. The participant enjoyed the classes, was adherent, and wished to continue. This is the first reported use of adapted tango dance as rehabilitation for an individual with chronic stroke and low vision.

Copyright © 2012 the Section on Geriatrics of the American Physical Therapy Association

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