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Counterpunching to Improve the Health of People with Parkinson’s Disease
Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, Online Now (2021)
  • Melinda Hermanns
Background: Boxing programs designed specifically for people with Parkinson's disease (PD) can be beneficial in improving the physical, mental, and functional health of persons with PD.
Purpose: This study examined the effect of a boxing program, Rock Steady Boxing (RSB), on the health of people with PD from both the boxers' and their caregivers' perspectives as well as evaluated balance, quality of life (QoL), and depressive symptoms after 12 weeks of RSB.
Methods: A mixed methods, one-group experimental design with focus groups were embedded within an intervention study. Six boxers completed baseline and 12-week postassessments.
Results: The majority of boxers maintained or improved scores for balance, QoL, and reduced depressive symptoms. Findings indicate physical and mental benefits of RSB among persons with PD and this was further validated by qualitative data from boxers and caregivers, along with quantitative data of boxers. Caregivers and boxers reported that boxers' ability to perform activities of daily living (ADLs) improved and is supported by quantitative improvements in the Parkinson's disease Questionnaire-39 ADL subscale. All boxers reported reduced stigma, and caregivers and boxers valued the opportunity to work out in an environment free of stigma, a finding not previously reported.
Conclusions: It is important for nurse practitioners to recognize exercise benefits for people with PD and recommend the program to patients and include caregivers in their overall assessment of health and wellness.
Implications for practice: Nurse practitioners and other health practitioners may consider recommending a boxing program, such as RSB, for their PD patients as a sole or supplemental exercise program.
  • Counterpunching,
  • Improve,
  • Health of People,
  • Parkinson's Disease
Publication Date
April 7, 2021
Citation Information
Melinda Hermanns. "Counterpunching to Improve the Health of People with Parkinson’s Disease" Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, Online Now (2021)
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