What is Dance Movement Therapy (DMT)?
DMT is defined by the European Association Dance Movement Therapy (EADMT) as ‘the therapeutic use of movement to further the emotional, cognitive, physical, spiritual and social integration of the individual.
Quantitative studies - Effects of a dance therapy programme on quality of life, sleep and blood pressure in middle-aged women: A randomised controlled trial.
Abstract. Background and objective. Evidence suggests that dance therapy may have positive effects in areas such as cardiovascular parameters and sleep. The aim of the present study is to explore whether a dance therapy programme improves sleep and blood pressure in a population of middle-aged pre- hypertensive and hypertensive women.
Methods. A randomised controlled trial was conducted, in which participants were assigned to one of 2 groups: standard care (with usual activities and medication) or dance therapy (in which the participants followed a dance therapy programme, in addition to their medication). The intervention was an 8-week, 3-times-per-week, progressive and specific group dance-training programme. The dance steps were specifically designed to improve balance by shifting the body and relocating the centre of gravity. The main measures obtained were blood pressure, sleep quality and quality of life, measured by the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index and the European Quality of Life Questionnaire.
Results. Sixty-seven pre-hypertensive and hypertensive middle-aged women were randomised to either an intervention group () or a control group () after baseline testing. The intervention group reported a significant improvement in blood pressure values (p < 0.01), as well as in sleep quality (p < 0.05) and quality of life (p < 0.001), compared to the control group. Conclusion. The dance therapy programme improved blood pressure, sleep and quality of life in pre- hypertensive and hypertensive middle-aged women, and constitutes an interesting basis for larger-scale research.
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