Date of Award

2001

Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)

Department

Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Renee Mabey

Keywords

Aged; Dancing; Postural Balance

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine if a six-week line dancing program has a significant effect on balance and coordination in a geriatric population. A total of 12 volunteer subjects participated in this study. They were separated into two groups, a control group (n = 6, 4 females and 2 males) and a dance group (n = 6, all female) according to participants' preference. Subjects were in good health, were high functioning, and were found to be at low risk for falls. Age of subjects ranged from 72 to 94 years, with a mean age of 85.67.

The study format involved an initial and final evaluation using the Berg Balance Measure and the coordination assessment from O'Sullivan and Schmitz. Following the initial assessment, the control group was instructed to continue their normal activities during the following six-week period. The dancing group participated in a line dancing exercise program two times per week for the six weeks. Following the six-week period, the Berg Balance Measure and the coordination assessment from O'Sullivan and Schmitz were re-administered.

A Mann-Whitney U-test was used to compare the control group to the dance group using scores from both the Berg and the coordination tests. A Wilcoxon T-test was also used to compare the control group scores before versus after the six-week period and the dancing group scores before versus after six weeks of dancing. An alpha level of p = .05 was used to determine significance for all tests.

There was no significant difference between the two groups for either test before the six-week period (z = -.165, P = .869 for the Berg; z = -.647, P = .517 for the coordination test). Following six weeks of dancing, there was a significant difference between the control group and the dance group (z = -2.123, P = .034 for the Berg; z = -2.500, P = .012 for the coordination test). The results also show no significant change in scores in the control group (z = -.743, P = .458 for the Berg; z = -1.289, P = .197 for the coordination test), but a significant increase in the scores from the dance group following six weeks of dancing (z = -2.14, P = .027 for the Berg; z = -2.264, P = .024 for the coordination test).

A six-week line dancing program significantly improved scores on the Berg Balance Measure and the coordination assessment from O'Sullivan and Schmitz. Line dancing can be an effective tool for physical therapists to use for balance and coordination training with the elderly.

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