Dance movement therapy and falls prevention

Veronese, Nicola and Maggi, Stefania and Schofield, Patricia and Stubbs, Brendon (2017) Dance movement therapy and falls prevention. Maturitas, 102. pp. 1-5. ISSN 1873-4111

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Falls are a leading cause of morbidity, healthcare use and mortality. Dance is a popular form of physical activity among older people and previous research has suggested that it may improve various health outcomes in this population, including balance, gait and muscle performance. A systematic review of the potential benefits of dance on falls and fear of falling is lacking. Thus, we conducted a systematic review considering all randomized controls trials (RCTs) investigating if dance can reduce falls and improve fear of falling in older adults. Major databases were searched from inception until 1 March 2017 and a total of 10 RCTs were identified, which included a total of 680 people (n = 356 dance, n = 324 control). Overall, the mean age of the samples was 69.4 years, and 75.2% were female. Across four RCTs, dance therapy reduced falls versus usual care in only one study. Dance therapy improved fear of falling in two out of three included RCTs. There were no serious adverse events reported in the RCTs. In summary, we found a paucity of studies investigating the effect of dance on falls and fear of falling and the evidence base is preliminary and equivocal. Given the heterogeneity of the included samples and interventions, in addition to the short-term follow-up, no firm conclusions can be drawn. However, dance appears to be safe and, given its popularity and demonstrated benefits on other health/wellbeing outcomes in older adults, it is important that future research considers its potential benefits on falls/fear of falling in older age.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: dancing, falls, older people, fear of falling, systematic review
Faculty: ARCHIVED Faculty of Health, Social Care & Education (until September 2018)
Depositing User: Brendon Stubbs
Date Deposited: 05 May 2017 10:41
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 18:58

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