Feasibility and Effectiveness of a Novel Intervention Integrating Physical Therapy Exercise and Dance Movement Therapy on Fall Risk in Community-Dwelling Older Women: A Randomized Pilot Study

Michal Pitluk Barash, Einat Shuper Engelhard, Michal Elboim-Gabyzon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

This pilot study presents a novel fall prevention intervention that integrates physical therapy exercise (PTE) and dance movement therapy (DMT) to address both physical and emotional fall risk factors, as well as factors influencing adherence to treatment. The aim of this study was to examine the feasibility and effectiveness of the intervention in a sample of eight older women (median = 86 [81.25–90.75] years) from a day center for senior citizens. The intervention, based on the Otago Exercise Program and DMT techniques, aimed to address the emotional experience during physical exercise. Participants were randomly assigned to either a PTE+DMT intervention group (n = 5) or a PTE control group (n = 3). A pre–post intervention battery of physical and emotional fall risk assessments, therapist–patient bond, and home exercise adherence was conducted. Non-parametric tests results showed significant improvement in the PTE+DMT group in measures of balance and fear of falling compared to the PTE group. However, no other significant differences were found between the groups in terms of falls-related psychological concerns, self-perceived health status, therapist–patient bond, and home exercise adherence. These findings demonstrate the feasibility and potential benefits of an intervention that integrates both physical and emotional aspects to reduce fall risk in older adults, and provide a basis for further studies and modifications in the research protocol.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1104
JournalHealthcare (Switzerland)
Volume11
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 12 Apr 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the authors.

Funding

This research was funded by The Emili Sagol Creative Arts Therapies Research Center (CATRC) at the University of Haifa; The Center for Research and Study of Aging (CRSA) at the University of Haifa; and Institutional Excellence Scholarships for Outstanding Doctoral Students Academic Year 2022–2023 Graduate Studies Authority.

FundersFunder number
CATRC
Emili Sagol Creative Arts Therapies Research Center
University of Haifa

    Keywords

    • balance
    • dance movement therapy
    • fall risk
    • fall-efficacy
    • falls
    • fear of falling
    • home exercise adherence
    • older adults
    • physical therapy

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