Answered Questions: Monthly News for the Disability Community for May 2017

Answered Questions is a monthly resource for the Spanish language Disability Community that fills an information need.

NIDILRR-funded Research:

Aquatic exercise therapy for people with Parkinson disease: A randomized controlled trial (J75815) (English). This article describes a study that evaluated the feasibility and effects of aquatic exercise therapy in comparison with usual care for people with Parkinson disease (PD). Twenty-one people with PD participated in this study and were randomly assigned to the aquatic exercise therapy group or to the usual care group. The study showed that people in both groups showed similar small improvements in gait variability. However, the aquatic exercise therapy group showed greater improvements than the usual care group. The results of this study show that aquatic therapy appears to be feasible and safe for some people in the early stages of PD.

Group aquatic training improves gait efficiency in adolescents with cerebral palsy (J62045) (English). This article describes a study that evaluated the effect and feasibility of a group aquatic training program on the gait efficiency in teenagers with cerebral palsy (CP) and that evaluated the optimal exercise intensity during aquatic training in a heterogeneous group of teens with CP. The results of this study suggest that group aquatic training increases the gait efficiency in teens with CP and that group aquatic training programs are feasible in teens with CP at different levels of severity.


Aquatic therapy and the application of the Halliwick Method as complimentary treatment of cerebral palsy in children (Universidad Pública de Navarra) discusses a systematic analysis of the scientific literature on the effectiveness of aquatic therapy to improve the capacities, spasticity, gross motor function, aquatic abilities, quality of life, and walking of children with cerebral palsy (CP). Ten articles were found that demonstrate that aquatic therapy is effective in improving the aforementioned functions. However, more research is needed.

The benefits of using aquatic therapy with patients affected by multiple sclerosis (Rehabilitación) discusses how aquatic therapy benefits people with multiple sclerosis (MS). The article begins by describing how aquatic therapy works in general, along with the properties of aquatic therapy. It continues by discussing the results of using aquatic therapy with people with MS, describes contraindications, and describes how to work in the water with people with MS. The article ends by describing a study on the influence of aquatic therapy on people with MS.


Rebioger Technology – Aquatic therapy (Vimeo) is a short video that describes in Spanish how aquatic therapy or hydrotherapy works, along with some of the technologies used during aquatic therapy, such as a stationary bike, bars, or treadmill.


Aquatic therapy helps the process of rehabilitation in patients with acquired brain injury (Centro Lescer) is an article that describes the benefits of aquatic therapy for people with acquired brain injury, including benefits to problem solving, circulation, movement, pelvic stability, spasticity, posture, and coordination and equilibrium. The article also describes the Halliwick method.

Aquatic exercise for the treatment of hip and knee osteoarthritis (PMID: 27007113) (English). This article evaluates the effects of aquatic exercise in comparison to no intervention for people with knee or hip osteoarthritis or both. Several databases were searched and nine new trials met the inclusion criteria. The trials showed that aquatic exercises caused a small short-term improvement in pain, a small effect on quality of life, and a small short-term improvement in disability.


  • Information/education page: Aquatic exercise for people with spinal cord injury (English) (US – NARIC Accession Number J75219). This article describes the benefits of aquatic exercise for people with spinal cord injury (SCI) including swimming; aerobic exercise, strengthening, and balance training; Tai Chi; or Zumba.
  • Iberoamerican Association of Special Aquatic Education and Hydrotherapy (AIDEA) (Mexico). AIDEA provides information, resources, programs, news, forums, and conferences for physical therapists, early intervention specialists, neurological and trauma pathologists, and other professionals related to aquatic therapy and early education in Latin America.
  • Argentinian Association of Hydrotherapy (Argentina). This association provides a library of resources and information on hydrotherapy, forums, professional counseling, study groups, and discusses the different areas where hydrotherapy can be utilized such as neurology, respiratory health, cardiology, sports medicine, metabolic disorders, and nutritional disorders. The association also shares information on upcoming events and links to materials and organizations related to hydrotherapy.

Further Research:

About Answered Questions

Each month, we look through the searches on our blog and through the information requests made by our patrons who speak Spanish and pick a topic that fills the largest need. Each resource mentioned below is associated with this month’s information need. We search the various Spanish language news sources and feeds throughout the month to bring you these articles. With the exception of the NIDILRR Projects and Further Investigation, all the linked articles and resources are in Spanish – any that are in English will be clearly marked. This month’s question is: Is aquatic therapy beneficial for people with disabilities? And, if so, how? This edition of Answered Questions includes items that discuss aquatic therapy for people with Parkinson disease, how aquatic therapy can affect the gait of people with cerebral palsy, how aquatic therapy can help people with a traumatic brain injury, how aquatic therapy can help people with spinal cord injury, how it can help people with osteoarthritis in their knees and/or hips, the benefits of aquatic therapy for people with multiple sclerosis, and discuss the assistive technology used in aquatic therapy.

About mpgarcia

I'm the Bilingual Information/Media Specialist at NARIC.
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