Adaptive Music/Dance Therapy: An Activity to Improve Quality of Life in Long Term Care Settings

By Richard Nauert and Peggy Johnson.

Published by The International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The older, old (> 85 years), are one of the fastest growing population segments, and among this cohort, individuals often reside in an assisted living or long-term care facility. Although sadness and depression are not a normal characteristic of aging, nursing home residents are often depressed. Interventions to provide mental stimulation, overcome loneliness, foster social interaction, social support, aid functional capabilities, and improve perception of care are needed for this special population cohort. In an effort to address these issues a pilot study was initiated that blended active music therapy and modified dance therapy. Twenty-two residents from two senior facilities (19 skilled residents and 3 from an Assisted Living setting) were assessed. All skilled residents were wheel chair bound while assisted living residents were ambulatory. Twice a week, 45-60 minute activity sessions were performed for 8 weeks. Pre-and post-study instruments were used to assess cognitive status, depression symptoms, and functional abilities. Regression analysis indicated mild improvements in mental status and cognitive abilities and a significant improvement in depression scores (p = .000).

Keywords: Health Promotion, Innovative, Low Cost, Non-Pharmacological, Sadness, Depression, Older-Old, Long Term Care, Dance Therapy, Music Therapy, Quality of Life

The International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp.91-106. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.752MB).

Dr. Richard Nauert

Associate Professor, College of Health Professions, School of Health Administration , Texas Long Term Care Institute, Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas, USA

Rick Nauert, PT, MSHF, MSHA, PhD, has over 30 years of experience in clinical, administrative and academic health care. He is currently an Associate Professor in the School of Health Administration at Texas State University. His research efforts include health informatics as well as health promotion with a special interest on improving quality of life among the older-old (> 86 yr) residents of long-term care facilities. This population segment often struggles with depression and is vastly underserved. Dr. Nauert is also the senior health news editor for a popular consumer-based health website and serves on faculty for the Texas State University doctoral program in Physical Therapy, as well as faculty for the Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness.

Peggy Johnson

Texas State University, Texas, USA

Dr. Peggy Johnson is an assistant professor of Health Administration at Texas State University. Dr. Johnson received her PhD in Community Health from the University of Tennessee. Dr. Johnson has published research on topics include aging, women’s health, patient safety, and the disaster readiness in health care settings. Dr. Johnson is also a respiratory therapists with many years of clinical and management experience in hospital and nursing home settings.