259032 Meaning and impact of creative dance and story telling in long term care: An interdisciplinary perspective

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 : 10:42 AM - 10:54 AM

Catherine Sullivan, PhD, OTR , Henrietta Schmoll School of Health, St. Catherine University, St. Paul, MN
Lisa Dutton, PhD, PT , Doctor of Physical Therapy Program, St. Catherine University, Minneapolis, MN
Maria Genné, MEd , KAIROS ALIVE, Minneapolis, MN
Purpose: The aim of this study was to apply mixed methods to explore the impact of an arts-based program incorporating creative dance, reminiscence and story-making on the quality of life of long term care residents. Design and Methods: A creative dance and story-telling program was implemented in 5 long-term care facilities. Quantitative measures of cognition (MMSE), mood (GDS), and balance (Berg Balance Scale) were collected at the beginning of the program and after each 12 week session by facility staff. These data were analyzed using a retrospective design with paired t-tests and repeated measures ANOVA. The prospective phase of the study was conducted at the end of the program in two facilities. Semi-structured interviews were administered to 11 volunteers and staff and 3 caregivers. Questions focused on their observations of the dance program's impact. Results: There was a statistically significant improvement (n=71, t=-2.11, p=.034) in balance scores from baseline (m=22.55, SD=16.36) to 12 weeks (m=24.15, SD=17.46). No significant differences were found on any measure at 24 or 36 weeks. Framework analysis of the qualitative data suggested that the program had a positive impact on participants' mood, cognition, mobility, personal validation and creativity. There was also a positive influence on the atmosphere of the long term care facilities. Implications: This mixed-method study suggests that creative dance programming can have a positive influence on long term residents. Quantitative results were mixed but largely remained stable over time, while qualitatively positive impacts were reported for participants, caregivers, staff and the facilities.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify outcomes associated with implementation of a creative dance and story telling program in long-term care facilities. 2. Discuss potential approaches to overcoming challenges associated with interdisciplinary, multi-site research in long-term care facilities. 3. Discuss potential advantages and disadvantages associated with mixed methods research design.

Keywords: Long-Term Care, Physical Activity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been co-principal investigator of several grant-funded outcome research studies looking at the impact of programs designed to improve the quality of life of underserved populations. I am am co-investigator on this study submitted to APHA with fellow faculty members and graduate students at St. Catherine University where I teach. I received my Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.