The effects of dance on physical risk factors that influence falling in older adults
Chesterfield, Stephen David Mann
Permanent link to Research Bank record:http://hdl.handle.net/10652/2362
BACKGROUND: Falls are a substantial source of morbidity and mortality in older adults. Dance may offer fall prevention benefits for older adults who are at high risk of falling. METHODS: A double-cohort pilot study was conducted to investigate the effects of group-based dance on physical risk factors, in independent communitydwelling and retirement village-dwelling adults over 65-years of age. The first cohort of participants (n=7) were independent community-dwelling older adults who took part in a dance-based mobility class ; the second cohort of participants (n=14) were independent residents of a retirement village who undertook folk dancing classes. Classes were scheduled once weekly, for 9 consecutive weeks, followed by social time. Outcome measures included a 30 s seated chair stand, single leg stance, a four square step test and bipedal static sway. RESULTS: Improvements were observed pre-to post-intervention, for seated chair stand and four square step test in both cohorts and no meaningful improvement was observed for sway variables in both cohorts. Cohort 1 mobility dance: seated chair stand (d=0.50, p=0.04), single leg stance (d=0.57, p=0.03), four square step test (d=0.72, p=0.01). Cohort 2 folk dancing: seated chair stand (d=0.13, p=0.01), single leg stance (d=0.35, p=0.14), four square step test (d=0.55, p=0.03). CONCLUSION: In both cohorts, participation in dance classes was associated with favourable reductions in risk factors for falling. These preliminary findings should be further investigated in a larger scale, randomised controlled trial.