The objective of this study was to investigate the therapeutic effect of Wu Qin Xi Qi Gong stretching on single- and dual-task gait, motor symptoms, and quality of life in people with mild and moderate Parkinson’s disease.
This single-blind, randomized control trial included 40 participants with idiopathic Parkinson’s Disease who were randomized into the Wu Qin Xi Qi Gong group or stretching group. Participants completed 12 weeks (two sessions/week) of intervention. The primary outcomes were gait parameters when performing single-task (comfortable pace) and dual-task (obstacle crossing, serial-3 subtraction and backward digit span) walking, including gait speed, stride length, and double support percentage.
The secondary outcomes were ratings from the Movement Disorder Society Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (MDS-UPDRS), results of the timed-up-and-go test (TUGT), results of the Mini-Balance Evaluation Systems Test (MiniBESTest), and responses from the 39-item Parkinson’s Disease Questionnaire (PDQ-39). All measures were assessed pre- and post-intervention.
The Wu Qin Xi Qi Gong group demonstrated increased gait speed (p = 0.000) during the single task, and increased stride length (p = 0.001, p = 0.021) during the single-task and serial-3 subtraction task. Double support percentage significantly decreased (p= 0.004) in the Wu Qin Xi Qi Qong Tang group during the obstacle crossing task, and also decreased (p = 0.045) in the stretching group during the single-task. TUGT (p = 0.005), MiniBESTest (p = 0.023) and PDQ-39 (p= 0.043) in the Wu Qin Xi Qi Qong Tang group significantly improved, and both groups showed significant improvement in MDS-UPDRS after intervention.
Wu Qin Xi Qi Gong is an effective method to improve single- and dual-task gait. While both exercises improve motor symptoms, Wu Qin Xi Qi Gong results in better mobility, balance and quality of life compared to stretching alone.