Dancing With Parkinson's Disease: The SI-ROBOTICS Study Protocol

Mauro Marzorati, Roberta Bevilacqua, Marco Benadduci, Anna Rita Bonfigli, Giovanni Renato Riccardi, Giovanni Melone, Angela La Forgia, Nicola Macchiarulo, Luca Rossetti, Giovanna Rizzo, Pierpaolo Di Bitonto, Ada Potenza, Laura Fiorini, Federica Gabriella Cortellessa Loizzo, Carlo La Viola, Filippo Cavallo, Alessandro Leone, Gabriele Rescio, Andrea Caroppo, Andrea ManniAmedeo Cesta, Gabriella Cortellessa, Francesca Fracasso, Andrea Orlandini, Alessandro Umbrico, Lorena Rossi, Elvira Maranesi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Introduction: Parkinson's disease (PD) is one of the most frequent causes of disability among older people, characterized by motor disorders, rigidity, and balance problems. Recently, dance has started to be considered an effective exercise for people with PD. In particular, Irish dancing, along with tango and different forms of modern dance, may be a valid strategy to motivate people with PD to perform physical activity. The present protocol aims to implement and evaluate a rehabilitation program based on a new system called “SI-ROBOTICS,” composed of multiple technological components, such as a social robotic platform embedded with an artificial vision setting, a dance-based game, environmental and wearable sensors, and an advanced AI reasoner module. Methods and Analysis: For this study, 20 patients with PD will be recruited. Sixteen therapy sessions of 50 min will be conducted (two training sessions per week, for 8 weeks), involving two patients at a time. Evaluation will be primarily focused on the acceptability of the SI-ROBOTICS system. Moreover, the analysis of the impact on the patients' functional status, gait, balance, fear of falling, cardio-respiratory performance, motor symptoms related to PD, and quality of life, will be considered as secondary outcomes. The trial will start in November 2021 and is expected to end by April 2022. Discussions: The study aims to propose and evaluate a new approach in PD rehabilitation, focused on the use of Irish dancing, together with a new technological system focused on helping the patient perform the dance steps and on collecting kinematic and performance parameters used both by the physiotherapist (for the evaluation and planning of the subsequent sessions) and by the system (to outline the levels of difficulty of the exercise). Ethics and Dissemination: The study was approved by the Ethics Committee of the IRCCS INRCA. It was recorded in ClinicalTrials.gov on the number NCT05005208. The study findings will be used for publication in peer-reviewed scientific journals and presentations in scientific meetings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)780098-N/A
JournalFrontiers in Public Health
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • balance
  • Parkinson Disease
  • Irish dance
  • older people
  • Parkinson's disease
  • rehabilitation
  • social assistive robotics
  • technology acceptance
  • Accidental Falls
  • Aged
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Fear
  • Humans
  • Quality of Life
  • gait


Dive into the research topics of 'Dancing With Parkinson's Disease: The SI-ROBOTICS Study Protocol'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this