Meta-analysis: Effects of dance movement therapy & dance on health-related psychological outcomes

Effects of Dance Movement Therapy and Dance on Health-Related Psychological Outcomes: A Meta-Analysis. 2014. Sabine Koch, Teresa Kunz, Sissy Lykou, & Robyn Cruz. The Arts in Psychotherapy Volume 41, Issue 1, February 2014, Pages 46-64. *Article does not have free open access.

 

Abstract: “In this meta-analysis, we evaluated the effectiveness of dance movement therapy1 (DMT) and the therapeutic use of dance for the treatment of health-related psychological problems. Research in the field of DMT is growing, and 17 years have passed since the last and only general meta-analysis on DMT (Ritter & Low, 1996) was conducted. This study examines the current state of knowledge regarding the effectiveness of DMT and dance from 23 primary trials (N = 1078) on the variables of quality of life, body image, well-being, and clinical outcomes, with sub-analysis of depression, anxiety, and interpersonal competence. Results suggest that DMT and dance are effective for increasing quality of life and decreasing clinical symptoms such as depression and anxiety. Positive effects were also found on the increase of subjective well-being, positive mood, affect, and body image. Effects for interpersonal competence were encouraging, but due to the heterogenity of the data remained inconclusive. Methodological shortcomings of many primary studies limit these encouraging results and, therefore, further investigations to strengthen and expand upon evidence-based research in DMT are necessary. Implications of the findings for health care, research, and practice are discussed.”
“1: This term includes the practice of dance movement psychotherapy (UK) and dance/movement therapy (USA).”

 

“Keywords: Dance movement therapy; Therapeutic use of dance; Meta-analysis; Review of evidence-based research; Randomized controlled trials; Integrative medicine.”
Advertisements

Depression and “the joy dance”

The joy dance: Specific effects of a single dance intervention on psychiatric patients with depression. Sabine C. Koch, Katharina Morlinghaus, Thomas Fuchs. (2007). The Arts in Psychotherapy Volume 34, Issue 4, Pages 340–349.

Abstract: “This study investigated the specific effects of a dance intervention on the decrease of depression and the increase of vitality and positive affect in 31 psychiatric patients with main or additional diagnosis of depression. Patients participated in one of three conditions: a dance group performing a traditional upbeat circle dance, a group that listened just to the music of the dance (music only), and a group that moved on a home trainer bike (ergometer) up to the same level of arousal as the dance group (movement only). While all three conditions alleviated or stabilized the condition of the patients, results suggest that patients in the dance group profited most from the intervention. They showed significantly less depression than participants in the music group (p < .001) and in the ergometer group (p < .05), and more vitality (p < .05) than participants in the music group on post-test self-report scales immediately after the intervention. Stimulating circle dances can thus have a positive effect on patients with depression and may be recommended for use in dance/movement therapy and other complementary therapies.”

Effects of dance-movement therapy: meta-analysis

Effects of Dance/Movement Therapy: A Meta-Analysis. Meredith Ritter, BA, Kathryn Graff Low, PhD. (1996). The Arts in Psychotherapy Volume 23, Issue 3, 1996, Pages 249–260. *There is not free public access.

“The present study addresses methodological problems that have affected the DMT [dance/movement therapy] literature and evaluates quantitative studies of DMT using meta-analytic techniques. […] The purpose of the present study was to calculate standardized effect sizes for case-control studies of dance/movement therapy and to produce summary statistics reflecting the average change associated with DMT compared to controls. The study also examined the effectiveness of DMT in different samples (e.g. children, psychiatric patients, elderly) and for varying diagnoses (anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, developmental disabilities) using meta-analysis.”

Contact improv dance in prison

An Evaluation of Dancing Inside: A creative workshop project led by Motionhouse Dance Theatre in HMP Dovegate Therapeutic Community. Brown, J., Burchnall, K., & Houston, S. (2004). Forensic Psychology Research Unit, University of Surrey, England.

“The present study examines year two of the Dancing Inside project. […] The findings reveal that the use of dance in a prison TC [Therapeutic Community] can facilitate emotional awareness and expression, encourage new ways of thinking, and help participants to discover an emerging sense of a new self. This has a significant contribution to the ‘process of change’ for each participant, as it aids self-disclosure, increases willingness to talk about themselves, their experiences and their offending behaviour. There was evidence of the short term impact experienced after the workshop. There is further evidence to support  the longer term sustainability of change.

“A note of caution however needs to be struck when considering the generalisability of our findings. […] Thus the report evaluates the particularities of the conjunction of the Dovegate TC [Therapeutic Community], Motionhouse [Dance Theatre] and [the facilitator] rather than attempts to consider the role of Dance in prison more generally.”

Expressive arts therapies with survivors of torture

Expressive arts therapies: Working with survivors of torture. Amber Elizabeth Lynn Gray. (2011). Torture Journal (Journal on Rehabilitation of Torture Victims and Prevention of Torture)  Volume 21, No. 1, 2011, pages 39-47.

Excerpt from the article:  “Dance/Movement Therapy (“DMT”) is both a somatic and an expressive arts therapy. A primary theoretical underpinning of this psychotherapeutic practice is that movement is a primary language for all human beings and, as such, is a powerful means to access implicit memory and stored history, trauma-related or not. From a developmental perspective, DMT acknowledges the non-verbal roots of all human language, communication, and experience, and therefore may be particularly suited to work with survivors of torture who have literally experienced the unspeakable directly to their bodies. Dance may be considered the creative or expressive aspect of movement, and for many cultures where the creative process is included in ritual, healing and daily life, DMT may be more appropriate than conventional talk therapy. The non-verbal and pre-verbal nature of trauma also supports the use of this modality.” (pages 42-43)