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The Rehabilitative Effect of Archery Exercise Intervention in Patients with Parkinson's Disease.

BACKGROUND: Archery exercise exerts a rehabilitative effect on patients with paraplegia and might potentially serve as complementary physiotherapy for patients with Parkinson's disease.

OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to examine the rehabilitative effects of an archery intervention.

METHODS: A randomized controlled trial of a 12-week intervention was performed in patients with idiopathic Parkinson's disease. Thirty-one of the 39 eligible patients recruited from a medical center in Taiwan participated in the trial, of whom 16 were in the experimental group practicing archery exercises and 15 were in the control group at the beginning; twenty-nine completed the whole process. The Purdue pegboard test (PPT), the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale I to III (UPDRS I to III), physical fitness test, and timed up and go test (TUG) were used to assess the intervention effects of archery exercise.

RESULTS: Compared to the control group, the outcome differences between the posthoc and baseline tests in PPT, UPDRS I to III, lower extremity muscular strength, and TUG in the experimental group (between-group difference in difference's mean: 2.07, 1.59, 1.36, -2.25, -3.81, -9.10, 3.57, and -1.51, respectively) did show positive changes and their effect sizes examined from Mann-Whitney U tests ( η : 0.631, 0.544, 0.555, 0.372, 0.411, 0.470, 0.601, and 0.381, respectively; Ps < 0.05) were medium to large, indicating that the archery intervention exerted promising effects on improving hand flexibility and finger dexterity, activity functions in motor movement, lower extremity muscular strength, and gait and balance ability.

CONCLUSIONS: Traditional archery exercise was suggested to have a rehabilitative effect for mild to moderate Parkinson's disease and could be a form of physiotherapy. Nevertheless, studies with larger sample sizes and extended intervention periods are needed to ascertain the long-term effects of archery exercise.

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