Title

The Meaning of Creative Dance and Story Telling in Long Term Care: An Interdisciplinary Perspective

Start Time

20-10-2011 7:30 PM

End Time

20-10-2011 8:45 PM

Session Type

Event

Abstract

Purpose: The aim of this study was to use an occupational science perspective to describe the experience of an arts-based program incorporating creative dance, music, reminiscence and storymaking and explore its impact on the quality of life of long long-term care residents. Recent research has sparked renewed interest in the importance of the arts for the health and well-being of older adults (Cohen et al., 2006). Arts-based occupations such as dance allow participants to express their creativity and cultural values and have been found to have positive health outcomes (Eyigor et al., 2009; Ward, 2008). Improving the quality of life of residents has been a recurring challenge of long-term care (LTC) facilities leading a number of them to use art-based programming. However there is a dearth of studies incorporating qualitative measures in determining the value of artistic expression for the well-being of LTC residents.

Methods: A mixed methods design study (Creswell & Clark, 2007) was conducted by an interdisciplinary team. Dance professionals designed and implemented a creative dance and story-telling program in six LTC facilities weekly for 12 months. Participants in the arts-based program were primarily frail elders, many of them suffering from dementia. Quantitative measures of participants’ cognition, mood and balance were taken at 12 week intervals. Towards the end of the program, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 11 staff and 3 caregivers in two of the facilities. Questions focused on the reaction of the elders to the program and its impact on the culture of the nursing home. The interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using the Framework Analysis (Ritchie and Spencer, 1994). This presentation will focus on the results generated by the qualitative interviews.

Results: Results suggest that this creative dance theater program had a positive impact on participants’ mood, cognition and mobility. Quantitative measures showed stability in the cognitive measure over the 12 months, and improvement in balance. Some of the themes identified in the qualitative results showed greater physicality, personal validation, feelings of fun and excitement, reminiscence, creation of new memories and joint meaning, experience of flow as well as a sense of sacredness and spirituality. There was also a positive influence on the culture of the long term care facilities.

The session will end with discussion on arts based programming, relevance to occupational science and suggestions for future mixed design studies.

Objectives for Discussion: The discussion portion of this presentation is designed to (a) dialogue about the benefits of occupational science as a framework for the interdisciplinary study of art-based programming in long term care settings (b) discuss on ways to overcome challenges to researching wellbeing with the frail elderly population (c) reflect on the importance of creative arts in occupational science and occupational therapy and its link to quality of life.

References

Cohen, G.D., Perlstein, S., Chapline, J., Kelly, J., Firth, K. M., & Simmens, S. (2006). The impact of professionally conducted cultural programs on the physical health, mental health, and social functioning of older adults. The Gerontologist, 6, 726-734. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/geront/46.6.726

Creswell, J. & Clark, V. L. (2007). Designing and conducting mixed methods research. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.

Eyigor, S., Karapolat, H., Durmaz, B., Ibisoglu, U. & Cakir, S. (2009). A randomized controlled trial of Turkish folklore dance on the physical performance, balance, depression, and quality of life in older women. Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics, 48, 84-88. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.archger.2007.10.008

Richie, J., & Spencer, L. (1994). Qualitative analysis for applied policy research. In A. Bryman and R. G. Burgess (Eds.), Analyzing qualitative data (pp. 173-194). London: Routledge. http://dx.doi.org/10.4324/9780203413081_chapter_9

Ward, S. A. (2008). Health and the power of dance: More than an art and more than fun. The Journal of Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance, 79, 33-36. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07303084.2008.10598161

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Oct 20th, 7:30 PM Oct 20th, 8:45 PM

The Meaning of Creative Dance and Story Telling in Long Term Care: An Interdisciplinary Perspective

Purpose: The aim of this study was to use an occupational science perspective to describe the experience of an arts-based program incorporating creative dance, music, reminiscence and storymaking and explore its impact on the quality of life of long long-term care residents. Recent research has sparked renewed interest in the importance of the arts for the health and well-being of older adults (Cohen et al., 2006). Arts-based occupations such as dance allow participants to express their creativity and cultural values and have been found to have positive health outcomes (Eyigor et al., 2009; Ward, 2008). Improving the quality of life of residents has been a recurring challenge of long-term care (LTC) facilities leading a number of them to use art-based programming. However there is a dearth of studies incorporating qualitative measures in determining the value of artistic expression for the well-being of LTC residents.

Methods: A mixed methods design study (Creswell & Clark, 2007) was conducted by an interdisciplinary team. Dance professionals designed and implemented a creative dance and story-telling program in six LTC facilities weekly for 12 months. Participants in the arts-based program were primarily frail elders, many of them suffering from dementia. Quantitative measures of participants’ cognition, mood and balance were taken at 12 week intervals. Towards the end of the program, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 11 staff and 3 caregivers in two of the facilities. Questions focused on the reaction of the elders to the program and its impact on the culture of the nursing home. The interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using the Framework Analysis (Ritchie and Spencer, 1994). This presentation will focus on the results generated by the qualitative interviews.

Results: Results suggest that this creative dance theater program had a positive impact on participants’ mood, cognition and mobility. Quantitative measures showed stability in the cognitive measure over the 12 months, and improvement in balance. Some of the themes identified in the qualitative results showed greater physicality, personal validation, feelings of fun and excitement, reminiscence, creation of new memories and joint meaning, experience of flow as well as a sense of sacredness and spirituality. There was also a positive influence on the culture of the long term care facilities.

The session will end with discussion on arts based programming, relevance to occupational science and suggestions for future mixed design studies.

Objectives for Discussion: The discussion portion of this presentation is designed to (a) dialogue about the benefits of occupational science as a framework for the interdisciplinary study of art-based programming in long term care settings (b) discuss on ways to overcome challenges to researching wellbeing with the frail elderly population (c) reflect on the importance of creative arts in occupational science and occupational therapy and its link to quality of life.