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A movement-based program incorporating modified dance was used with individuals with Parkinson’s disease (PD) to assess changes in cognition as it relates to occupational performance. This qualitative research study provided 1-hour dance sessions 3 days per week over the course of 16 weeks with 6 participants who have mild-moderate PD. Various dance styles were used including salsa, tango, waltz, line dancing, and others. Cognition and occupational performance were assessed using the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MOCA), the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure (COPM), and surveys. Findings indicated improvements in perceived occupational performance via the COPM and surveys, while MoCA results indicated improvements in the areas of visuospatial/executive function, attention, and memory recall. Further research is warranted to address limitations of this research study and explore the possible benefits of dance as a movement-based intervention to address cognitive deficits within the Parkinson’s population.

Publication Date



University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences


cognitive, Parkinson's, dance, attention, executive function, qualitative research

Medical Subject Headings

Parkinson Disease, Cognition, Dancing, Dance Therapy, Attention, Executive Function, Qualitative Research


Neurology | Occupational Therapy


Poster presented at the Virtual OTD Capstone Symposium, held online at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences April 12-14, 2022

Exploration of the Transference of Cognitive Skills Gained from a Movement-Based Program Incorporating Modified Dance to Occupational Performance for Individuals with Parkinson’s Disease