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Dance

Posted 1/26/2017

Posted in

  Every now and then I read a study that makes me grin. This is one of those rare moments. A group from the university of Alabama developed a dance intervention for breast cancer survivors. The finding was that participation helped ease women into an exercise program. I would also bet the proverbial ranch that it was a positive experience for couples and that it brought some moments of grinning to everyone.

A dance intervention for cancer survivors and their partners (RHYTHM).

Pisu M1,2, Demark-Wahnefried W3,4, Kenzik KM3,5, Oster RA6,7, Lin CP6,7, Manne S8, Alvarez R3,9, Martin MY

Abstract

PURPOSE:

The purpose of this study was to assess the feasibility, acceptability, and impact of a ballroom dance intervention on improving quality of life (QOL) and relationship outcomes in cancer survivors and their partners.

METHODS:

We conducted a pilot randomized controlled trial with two arms (Restoring Health in You (and Your Partner) through Movement, RHYTHM): (1) immediate dance intervention and (2) delayed intervention (wait-list control). The intervention consisted of 10 private weekly dance lessons and 2 practice parties over 12 weeks. Main outcomes were physical activity (Godin Leisure-Time Exercise Questionnaire), functional capacity (6 Minute Walk Test), QOL (SF-36), Couples' trust (Dyadic Trust Scale), and other dyadic outcomes. Exit interviews were completed by all participating couples.

RESULTS:

Thirty-one women survivors (68% breast cancer) and their partners participated. Survivors were 57.9 years old on average and 22.6% African American. Partners had similar characteristics. RHYTHM had significant positive effects on physical activity (p = 0.05), on the mental component of QOL (p = 0.04), on vitality (p = 0.03), and on the dyadic trust scale (p = 0.04). Couples expressed satisfaction with the intervention including appreciating the opportunity to spend time and exercise together. Survivors saw this light-intensity physical activity as easing them into becoming more physically active.

CONCLUSIONS:

Light intensity ballroom dancing has the potential to improve cancer survivors' QOL. Larger trials are needed to build strong support for this ubiquitous and acceptable activity.

IMPLICATIONS FOR CANCER SURVIVORS:

Ballroom dance may be an important tool for cancer survivors to return to a physically active life and improve QOL and other aspects of their intimate life.

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