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Dance for People with Alzheimer’s Disease: A Mini-Review


Alicia Ruiz-Muelle and María Mar López-Rodríguez*   Pages 1 - 15 ( 15 )


Background: In recent years, several reviews have addressed the effectiveness of dance therapy in dementia, healthy older adults, or the elderly in general. However, reviews regarding the effect of this therapy exclusively on patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease have not been found.

Objective: The purpose of this study is to review the available literature describing clinical trials which explore the effects of dancing on psychological and physical outcomes, functionality, cognitive function, and quality of life in patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, this review aims to assess the quality of studies that perform dance therapy interventions in these patients.

Methods: This study is a systematic review of randomized and non-randomized clinical trials regarding the effect of an intervention including a dancing activity in people diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.

Results: In total, the evidence for this review rests on 12 studies with a total of 349 participants. The findings of this mini review confirm the positive effect of dance therapy on physical and cognitive function, functionality, psychological outcomes, and quality of life in people with Alzheimer's disease.

Conclusion: Most of studies implementing dance as part of the therapeutic treatment has shown to improve or slow the worsening in the quality of life of patients with Alzheimer's disease and their caregivers. Future research focused on these patients should use a more exhaustive methodology and make a more detailed description of this kind of interventions.


Alzheimer`s disease, dancing, dance therapy, efficacy, benefits, review.


Department of Nursing, Physiotherapy and Medicine, Health Sciences Faculty, University of Almer�­a, Department of Nursing, Physiotherapy and Medicine, Health Sciences Faculty, University of Almería

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