The effects of dance on fall-related self-efficacy and quality of life, and the relationship between psychosocial and physical effects in older adults in New Zealand

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Russell, Tania
Author ORCID Profiles (clickable)
Master of Osteopathy
Unitec Institute of Technology
Bacon, Catherine
Moran, Robert
Masters Thesis
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
successful ageing
fall risk
psychosocial factors in fall risk reduction
Dance Mobility program
Unitec Institute of Technology
Selwyn Retirement Village (Point Chevalier, N.Z.)
ANZSRC Field of Research Code (2020)
Russell, T. (2013). The effects of dance on fall-related self-efficacy and quality of life, and the relationship between psychosocial and physical effects in older adults in New Zealand. (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Osteopathy). Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand. Retrieved from
There are physical and psychosocial factors that contribute to and predict falls and successful aging in older adults. Interventions which can improve these factors present an opportunity to reduce the social and economic costs associated with aging, which are forecast to escalate over the next two decades (Statistics New Zealand, 2009). The aims of this thesis were to review psychosocial factors associated with successful aging, including reduced falls risk, and current interventions thought to improve these factors, and to investigate whether dancing as an intervention in a New Zealand setting has any effect on these psychosocial factors in independently-living older adults within New Zealand. An investigation into the physical factors associated with aging and the effects of dancing as an intervention on these physical factors forms the basis of another thesis undertaken concurrently. This thesis consists of a literature review followed by a manuscript. The literature review introduces fall risks and successful aging in older adults and specifically provides a rationale for the importance of investigating psychosocial factors in addition to physical factors. Interventions that may improve these are outlined, including a rationale for investigating dancing as one of these interventions. This is followed by an in depth review and analysis of studies already undertaken into the effects of dancing on psychosocial factors associated with falls risk and successful aging in over 65 year olds.The manuscript that follows details a double cohort pilot study in independently living over 65 year olds in New Zealand that investigates the effects of two dance programs on two psychosocial risk factors associated with falls risk and successful aging: fall-related self-efficacy and quality of life and the relationship of these psychosocial factors to physical factors. The Dance Mobility program was organized by DANZ and Creative Communities and based on contemporary dance and ballet exercises ; the folk dance program was organized by Unitec New Zealand in conjunction with Selwyn Retirement Village. This manuscript follows the format expected by the Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics (Elsevier) journal, available at Appendices to this thesis contain ethics letters, research questionnaires and additional full result tables with baseline and follow-up data.
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