Investigating the emotional content of older adults engaging in a fall prevention exercise program integrated with dance movement therapy: a preliminary study

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Abstract

Fall prevention interventions for older adults have primarily focused on the physical aspects, overlooking the emotional aspects inherent in falls. This qualitative study presents a novel fall prevention intervention that integrates physical therapy exercise (PTE) based on the Otago Exercise Program with Dance Movement Therapy (DMT) to address the emotional experience during PTE. The aim of this study is to explore the emotional content expressed by older adults during balance-focused exercises and the unique emotional content expressions following the PTE + DMT intervention compared to the PTE intervention. Eleven older adults (aged 81–91 years) from a day center were randomly assigned to either the PTE + DMT group (n = 6) or the PTE group (n = 5). Interpretative phenomenological analysis of the instructors’ observations and process diary identified three themes that emerged during the sessions: (1) self-image and self-worth, (2) the individual in relation to others, and (3) past memories. These themes highlight both similarities and differences between the groups. These findings provide valuable insights into the emotional experiences encountered by older adults, particularly in the context of falls prevention practices. Recognizing, understanding, and facilitating the expression of these experiences can enhance the effectiveness of fall prevention interventions and contribute to the overall health of older adults.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1260299
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Volume14
DOIs
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) declare financial support was received for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article. This research has been funded by the Emili Sagol Creative Arts Therapies Research Center (CATRC) at the University of Haifa, and Institutional Excellence Scholarships for Outstanding Doctoral Students Academic Year 2022–2023 Graduate Studies Authority.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2023 Pitluk Barash, Elboim-Gabyzon and Shuper Engelhard.

Keywords

  • dance movement therapy
  • fall
  • fall prevention intervention
  • older adults
  • physical therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology (all)

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