An exploration of the experience participation in a dance group has on the health and well-being of stroke survivors

Gill, E. (2019) An exploration of the experience participation in a dance group has on the health and well-being of stroke survivors. In: RCOT (Royal College of Occupational Therapists) 2019 Annual Conference and Exhibition, 18-19 June 2019, ICC Birmingham, UK.

[thumbnail of Gill_AnExplorationOf.pdf]
PDF - Published Version
Available under License CC BY-NC

Download (39kB) | Preview
Official URL:


In the United Kingdom, over 100,000 people experience a stroke annually (Stroke Association, 2018). Psychological changes post-stroke often result in poor community reintegration due to disengagement in premorbid occupations, loss of valued roles, reduced confidence and difficulty adjusting to a new sense of self (Williams and Murray, 2013). While participation in meaningful occupations is known to positively influence a person’s health and well-being, it is important to facilitate meaningful activities into the long-term care of stroke survivors. The purpose of this study was to explore stroke survivors’ experience of participating in a dance group within the community. A qualitative phenomenological approach was employed. A dance programme for stroke survivors was carried out within the community by a skilled facilitator. After six weeks of the community sessions, the researcher carried out semi-structured interviews with three participants. Results: The enjoyment gained from the dance classes motivated participants to engage in other purposeful activities throughout their daily lives. Participation in these classes also led to a perceived improvement in self-identity, self-perceived confidence and a sense of belonging gained through the social nature of being part of a group. The use of dance reflects the multifaceted nature in which engagement in a meaningful occupation can promote the health and well-being among stroke survivors (Wilcock and Hocking, 2015). Findings reflect similar research (Carin-Levy et al., 2009; Lewis et al., 2016; Williams and Murray, 2013); however, larger scale studies are warranted to further investigate the psychosocial factors associated with dance and stroke.

Carin-Levy, G., Kendall, M., Young, A. and Mead, G. (2009) The Psychosocial Effects of Exercise and Relaxation Classes for Persons Surviving a Stroke. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 76(2), 73–80.
Lewis, C., Annett, L., Davenport, S., Hall, A. and Lovatt, P. (2016) Mood changes following social dance sessions in people with Parkinson’s disease. Journal of Health Psychology, 21(4), 483–492.
Stroke Association (2018) State of the Nation. Available at: (accessed: 26 April 2018).
Wilcock, A. and Hocking, C. (2015) An occupational perspective of health (3 edn) Thorofare, NJ: Slack.
Williams, S. and Murray, C. (2013) The Experience of Engaging in Occupation following Stroke: A Qualitative Meta-Synthesis. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 76(8), 370–378.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Journal / Publication Title: British Journal of Occupational Therapy
Publisher: SAGE Publications / College of Occupational Therapists
ISSN: 1477-6006
Departments: Academic Departments > Health, Psychology & Social Studies (HPSS) > Rehabilitation
Additional Information: Poster P141. Published in RCOT 2019 book of abstracts. E. Gill recently completed a Masters in Occupational Therapy at the University of Cumbria, UK.
Depositing User: Anna Lupton
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2019 14:55
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2024 09:45


Downloads per month over past year

Downloads each year

Edit Item