Faculty Advisor

James William Henry Sonne, Ph.D.

Publication Date

Spring 2020


Physical rehabilitation has been shown to improve movement in participants with Parkinson’s disease (PD), but rehabilitation practice is not standardized and study sizes have been limited.

PURPOSE: The purpose of this retrospective study is to further the limited body of evidence regarding the benefits of a boxing-based intervention for individuals with PD using a larger participant pool over a greater time period.

METHODS: A retrospective cohort study was performed analyzing data collected on outcome measures at 6-month intervals up to 2 years. Data was collected from “Rock Steady Boxing” (RSB)-affiliated programs at 4 locations across the southeastern United States. Current and past participants in RSB with at least one subsequent outcome measure were included, resulting in 68 participants (54 male, 14 female, mean age of 71.2 years ± 8.56 standard deviation). Individuals partook ad libidum in RSB classes for up to 24 months. Measures of balance (FAB scale), functional mobility (TUG), lower extremity strength (30CST), and gait speed (10MWT) were taken every 6 months.

RESULTS: Statistically significant improvements in the FAB Scale, TUG, and 30CST were observed at the 6 and 12-month time points. This continued at 18 months for the FAB and 30CST. No significant changes in 10MWT were seen; however, a moderate effect size was observed at the one-year point.

CONCLUSION: Participants with PD were able to achieve statistically significant improvements in standard measures of balance, functional mobility, and strength within the study timeline. This form of exercise appears safe and effective to improve movement in persons with PD.

Access Status

UCF Only