The Effects of Intuitive Movement Re-embodiment on the Well-Being of Older Adults with Dementia: A Pilot Study
BackgroundThis ethnographic research is a pilot study that explores the effects of ‘Intuitive Movement Re-embodiment’ (IMR), an original community dance and music program on the well-being of older adults with dementia. This original IMR creative methodology utilizes reminiscent music and the participants’ intuitive movements to construct a series of dance routines, through which the participants are guided to exercise their mind and body holistically. Underpinned by an ecological paradigm, the research design employs mixed methods to examine the participants’ internal Quality of Life and external Happiness, which together define the term Well-Being for this research. MethodsFrom March to May 2018, 10 weekly IMR sessions were conducted to three groups of participants recruited from the Gibson Day Unit (Dunedin Public Hospital) and Enliven St Andrews Care Home: Group 1 (Mild to Moderate Dementia); Group 2 (Moderate Dementia); Group 3 (Advanced Dementia-D4). The 26 volunteer participants were New Zealanders aged from early 60s to mid-90s whose interest and past learning history in music and dance were exclusionary to the recruiting process. The weekly scores of their self-rated Quality of Life were collected using the WHO-5 questionnaire. Perceived benefits gathered through observation and interview were coded into three themes of Happiness: Memory Recollection, Social Interaction and Enjoyment.Brief Overview of ResultsIn the quantitative analysis, the Well-Being scores of 22 participants who attended no fewer than six sessions were calculated and presented in individual group graphs. The paired t-test showed that the participants’ Quality of Life improved minimally at the end of the intervention (session 10) without statistical significance. However, statistically significant improvement was found after session 6. The scoring patterns also indicated that the Quality of Life of Group 1 and 2 decreased after session 6. Hence, in any future study an interval of three weeks between two continuous interventions of five weeks is recommended for Group 1 and 2, while a continuous intervention is suggested for Group 3. A total twenty weeks of intervention is suggested for all groups. The qualitative analysis showed the IMR program provided a sense of aliveness, fun, humour, playfulness and imagery that motivated the study participants to dance and interact with joy. However, most participants with mild to moderate dementia did not react positively to the high frequency of repetition and continuous challenges presented in a session. New creative elements for music, movement and peer interaction are suggested to be introduced constantly to enhance the positive outcomes. Simple and relaxing dance exercises can be arranged between the set IMR routines to allow the participants to enjoy the session more comfortably.ConclusionIn conclusion, respective modifications catered for older adults suffering from distinct stages of dementia are highly desirable. To achieve the best possible results, the IMR program should be re-designed and offered in a way that can be continuously adjusted to meet the needs of the participants and affiliated institutions. A Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) with a larger sample size is recommended to further explore the effectiveness of the modified programs.
Advisor: East, Alison; Barak, Yoram
Degree Name: Master of Dance Studies
Degree Discipline: School of Physical Education, Sport & Exercise Sciences
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: dementia; dance; movement; music; intuition; well-being; Quality of Life; happiness; older adults; pilot study
Research Type: Thesis