Loss of balance and diminished gait are major fall risk factors in older persons. Literature suggests that physical activity based on dance may improve balance and gait. The aim of this pilot study was to determine whether dance-based therapy affects the balance/gait of community-based frail seniors.
The Roy Adaptation Model and Environmental Press Theory were used as joint frameworks.
Eleven participants were recruited from a Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE). Inclusion criteria were (1) Mini-Mental State Examination score of 23 or more, (2) attending PACE on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and (3) able to stand with or without assistance.
A Lebed Method dance intervention was conducted using a longitudinal design 3 times a week for 6 weeks. Functional Reach and Timed Get Up and Go were measured at baseline, 6 weeks after the start of the intervention, and 6 weeks postintervention and repeated to estimate the persistence of the effect.
Graphs were compared looking for functional trends; postintervention interviews were conducted with each subject.
Dance therapy results in positive functional trends, suggesting that further study using dance-based therapy will be useful to decrease fall risks in older persons.