The authors of this systematic review wanted to assess the effects of dance movement therapy on behavioural, social, cognitive and emotional symptoms of people with dementia, and compare outcomes of such treatment to no treatment, standard care or any other treatment. So far, so promising:
“The latest NICE guideline for dementia highlights the value of diverse treatment options for the different stages and symptoms of dementia including non-pharmacological treatments. Relevant literature also argues for the value of interventions that acknowledge the complexity of the condition and address the person as a whole, including their physical, emotional, social and cognitive processes. At the same time, there is growing literature that highlights the capacity of the arts and embodied practices to address this complexity. Dance movement therapy is an embodied psychological intervention that can address complexity and thus, may be useful for people with dementia”.
As usually happens, this Cochrane Review points to a dearth of well-conducted research and reminds the reader just how much we don’t know.
“The greater the talent, the greater the doubt”? (Robert Hughes, paraphrased).
Karkou, V. [and] Meekums, B. (2017). Dance movement therapy for dementia. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. February 3rd 2017; 2: CD011022.
There is also an Executive Summary.