The impact of dance activities on the health of persons with Parkinson's disease in Sweden

Therese Gyrling, Magnus Ljunggren, Staffan Karlsson

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Purpose: Parkinson's disease (PD) is associated with motor and non-motor symptoms that negatively influence the person's quality of life. To reduce illness and increase quality of life, alternative treatments of PD such as dance might be experienced as beneficial. The aim of this study was to explore experiences of how a dance program in Sweden influences perceived physical, social, and emotional wellbeing in persons with PD.

Method: A qualitative method with semi-structured interviews and content analysis was used, and 10 participants with variations in age, gender, and how long they had been diagnosed with the disease were interviewed.

Results: The results showed that dancing was experienced as improving health, which implied feeling both calmed and excited, getting better sleep, and being able to move with more focus and freedom. The dance program was experienced as a social context through the importance of community, feelings of togetherness, and being able to compare oneself with others. Experiences of self-support included experiencing increased self-esteem and joy, but also a sense of being confirmed and having structure, which gave meaning to everyday life.

Conclusions: To reduce illness and increase quality of life in persons with PD, it is important to investigate alternative treatment methods, and this study shows the importance of participating in a dance program in Sweden for the life situation and health of people with PD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1992842
JournalInternational Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021-Dec

Swedish Standard Keywords

  • Neurology (30207)


  • Emotions
  • Freedom
  • Humans
  • Parkinson Disease/therapy
  • Quality of Life
  • Sweden


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