International Journal of Biometeorology

, Volume 63, Issue 1, pp 13–18 | Cite as

Is the aquatic thermal environment a suitable place for providing rehabilitative treatment for person with Parkinson’s disease? A retrospective study

  • Stefano Masiero
  • Irene Maghini
  • Maria Eleonora Mantovani
  • Leila Bakdounes
  • Kostas Koutsikos
  • Alessandra Del Felice
  • Patrizio SaleEmail author
Original Paper


Many authors showed that aquatic physiotherapy could improve quality of life and reduce postural instability and risk of falling in elderly subjects. The aim of this research was to explore if the thermal aquatic environment is a suitable place for rehabilitative training in person with Parkinson disease (PwP) with results comparable to the standard physiotherapy. A retrospective study was conducted on a database of 14 persons with Parkinson who were admitted to a thermal aquatic rehabilitation to undergo treatments made to improve gait and balance impairments. The rehabilitation training consisted of 45-min sessions conducted twice a week, on non-consecutive days, over 4 weeks of functional re-education and kinesitherapy in the thermal pool. Educational and prevention instructions were also given to the patients during each session. Additionally, nutrition (diet), health education, and cognitive behavioral advice were given to our patients by therapists. The clinical characteristics of the sample were age 66 ± 9, disease duration 7 ± 5, and Hoehn and Yahr 1.5 ± 0.5. The statistical analysis showed a statistically significant improvement for the UPDRS p = 0.0005, for The Berg Balance Scale p = 0.0078, for the PDQ8 p = 0.0039, Tinetti p = 0.0068, and for Mini BESTest p = 0.0002. Our data suggest that this intervention could become a useful strategy in the rehabilitation program of PwP. The simplicity of treatment and the lack of side effects endorse the use of thermal aquatic environment for the gait and balance recovery in PwP.


Parkinson disease Thermal Rehabilitation Water exercises Balance 



We thank the Medical Hotel Hermitage Bel Air for making the thermal setting available to our patients.

Compliance with ethical standards

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest. All authors attest and affirm that the material within has not been and will not be submitted for publication elsewhere.


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Copyright information

© ISB 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Rehabilitation Unit, Department of NeuroscienceUniversity of PaduaPaduaItaly
  2. 2.Rehabilitation DepartmentSant’Isidoro Hospital, Federazione Europea Ricerca Biomedica (FERB) OnlusTrescore BalnearioItaly

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