An evaluation of the acceptability and effectiveness of a Dance Cafe for people with severe dementia.

Rachel Forrester-Jones, Clara Awoyomi, David Oliver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Dance has been suggested as a way of helping people with advanced dementia, by providing meaningful involvement and activity.

To investigate if the individuals with advanced dementia would be able to take part in dancing in a Dance Café within a residential home setting, and be able to undertake the assessment of nutrition, quality of life, balance and mobility.

A wait-list intervention approach was used, with residents allocated randomly to the intervention or a control group, who received the dance intervention later. A Dance Café was held weekly for 8 weeks and assessments made of weight, nutrition, balance, mobility and quality of life. Focus groups were held with staff and family members after the intervention period to assess their opinions.

The regular assessments of nutrition, balance and quality of life were obtained for the residents with dementia and they were able to join in the Dance Cafe. No conclusions could be made from the limited quantitative result but the qualitative assessment the staff and families all felt the participants had benefitted from the Dance Café, in terms of improved mobility and positive psychosocial effects.

The small size of the intervention group prevented any statistical analysis of the quantitative assessments.

It is possible to undertake a Dance Café with people with severe dementia and assessments of nutrition and mobility can be undertaken. Further research, with a larger group, would be needed to investigate its effectiveness.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Long-Term Care
Publication statusAcceptance date - 15 Apr 2021


  • Advanced Dementia
  • Dance cafe
  • Acceptability
  • Effectiveness
  • Improvement
  • Residential home
  • Dance
  • Music

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