MinDful: Music aNd Dance For Older adULts: The Feasibility of an Arts-Based Health Intervention for Health and Wellbeing

Ireland has an ageing population. Many older adults in Ireland have a chronic condition, low levels of physical activity and experience loneliness and social isolation. Additionally, approximately a third of adults over 65 years of age fall each year. Additionally, the unprecedented consequences of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, lead to cocooning measures, non-essential contact and social distancing measures, all likely impacting on physical activity levels, deconditioning and social isolation. There is a lack of community-based activities for older people that are tailored, fun, support social connectedness and provide achievable physical benefits, that impact on health and wellbeing. Co-developing enjoyable and accessible community-based activities are essential when promoting choice, control and ease of participation for older people.

This research will involve co-designing and evaluating an arts based complex intervention that will involve music and dance. Dance is both an art and a form of exercise, which has been shown to promote wellbeing, reduce social isolation and can improve movement and balance. Musical activities have also been found to improve well-being and reduce social isolation and loneliness. However, we do not as yet have enough evidence to demonstrate that these programmes can work in practice in Ireland. Further research is required to examine the feasibility and ways that arts-orientated health interventions are effective. Before a large-scale study can be conducted, a trial is needed to determine its feasibility. This study would be a significant step in gauging the feasibility and usefulness of community arts based intervention that includes music and dance in Ireland designed to improve functional performance, reduce falls risk, enhance community engagement and reduce loneliness and social isolation.

Award Date
04 December 2020
Award Value
Principal Investigator
Dr Amanda Clifford
Host Institution
University of Limerick
DIFA 2020