Evaluation of edna: arts and dance for older people

Skingley, A., De'Ath, S. and Napleton, L. (2016) Evaluation of edna: arts and dance for older people. Working with Older People, 20 (1). pp. 46-56. ISSN 1366-3666.


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To evaluate the impact on health and wellbeing of participation in dance and arts activities by older people living in the community.

A small-scale, mixed methods research design comprising pretest-posttest evaluation of a three month dance and arts programme. Two groups of older people underwent physical measures and completed a self-report quality of life questionnaire. Written comments and interview data were also gathered.

Physical tests (n=14) demonstrated improvements in posture, shoulder mobility and balance in both groups following the intervention, with some measures reaching statistical significance. Quality of life evaluations (n=21) also showed improvement, with the mental health subscale reaching statistical significance. Qualitative data showed that participants enjoyed the programme and felt physical, psychological and social benefits.

Research limitations
The research involved only a small sample of volunteers and a limited programme length which limits its generalizability. The absence of a control group means that causality cannot be inferred. Future research should extend recruitment to a wider geographical area and a longer intervention which includes a control group.

Practical and social implications
Future arts interventions for older people should include consultation prior to, and throughout the project. Commissioners should consider supporting arts for health projects, building in additional funding for evaluative work.

This study has added to the evidence base through combining art forms within a mixed methods framework, illustrating the interplay between the art forms, the outcomes and the potential role of social context.

Keywords: Dance, arts, older people, health, wellbeing.

Paper type: Research paper.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Dance, arts, older people, health, wellbeing.
Subjects: R Medicine > RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology > RM0182 Other therapeutic procedures
Divisions: Faculty of Health and Wellbeing > Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health
Depositing User: Ann Skingley
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2016 10:03
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2016 08:58
URI: https://create.canterbury.ac.uk/id/eprint/14967

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00