A randomized study of experimental design will demonstrate differences in balance score and number of falls after three months of therapeutic Qi Gong compared to usual care. At the end of the study these two groups will be compared for changes in balance and number of falls. The intervention group will participate in Qi Gong exercise and the control group will continue usual care. Both groups will be asked not to add new exercise or medication during the intervention. All control group participants will be invited to participate in three months of QiGong when the study is completed.
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the therapeutic effects of Qi Gong (Chinese exercise) on balance and fall prevention for individuals with Parkinson's disease (PD). People with PD have twice the risk of falls as their age matched peers. Medication and surgery have not ameliorated PD-related falls (PRF) which lead to considerable morbidity and mortality. Exercise can improve postural stability (balance) and decrease risk of falls.
Study measures include balance testing, fall risk assessment, and questions to evaluate participant's ability to follow instructions. Study assessment will be completed in a location of the participant's convenience. All exercise sessions will be conducted at Beth Israel Phillips Ambulatory Care Center in New York by a Qi Gong master.