Can music-based movement therapy improve motor dysfunction in patients with Parkinson's disease? Systematic review and meta-analysis

Neurol Sci. 2017 Sep;38(9):1629-1636. doi: 10.1007/s10072-017-3020-8. Epub 2017 Jun 21.


This study aimed to quantify whether there is association between music-based movement therapy and motor dysfunction in patients with Parkinson's disease, and, if so, whether music-based movement therapy can be used as first-line non-pharmacological treatment. To conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis of clinical trials that examined the effect of music-based movement therapy on patient-relevant and disease-specific outcomes. Comprehensive literature was searched of PubMed, EMbase, and the Cochrane Library from inception to November 2016. Randomized controlled trial of patients with Parkinson's disease was searched to identify trials comparing music-based movement therapy with no music care. A total of 8 studies (11 analyses, 241 subjects) were included; all of them had acceptable quality by PEDro scale score. Studies based on any type of Parkinson's disease patients were combined and subgroup analyzed. Compared with the control group, the SMD of Berg Balance Scale score was 0.85(0.46 to 1.25), -0.60 (-0.98 to -0.22) in Parkinson Disease Questionnaire-39 summary index, -0.90s (-1.56 to -0.23) in Time Up and Go text, and -0.43 (-1.11 to 0.25) in Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale Motor Subscale 3 as instrument methods for motor function. Secondary outcomes included cognitive function and quality of life. There was positive evidence to support the use of music-based movement therapy on treatment of motor function; there was neutral evidence to support the use of music for the treatment of cognitive function quality of life.

Keywords: Meta-analysis; Motor dysfunction; Music-based movement therapy; Parkinson’s disease.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Movement
  • Music Therapy* / methods
  • Parkinson Disease / physiopathology
  • Parkinson Disease / therapy*
  • Physical Therapy Modalities*