Joke Bradt1, Sharon W Goodill2, Cheryl Dileo3
1Department of Creative Arts Therapies, College of Nursing and Health Professions, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
2Creative Arts Therapies, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, USA. 3Department of Music Therapy and The Arts and Quality of Life
Research Center, Boyer College of Music and Dance, Temple University, Philadelphia, USA
A B S T R A C T
Current cancer care increasingly incorporates psychosocial interventions. Cancer patients use dance/movement therapy to learn to accept and reconnect with their bodies, build new self-confidence, enhance self-expression, address feelings of isolation, depression, anger and fear and to strengthen personal resources.
To compare the effects of dance/movement therapy and standard care with standard care alone or standard care and other interventions in patients with cancer.
We included all randomized and quasi-randomized controlled trials of dance/movement therapy interventions for improving psychological and physical outcomes in patients with cancer.
Data collection and analysis
Two review authors independently extracted the data and assessed themethodological quality. Results were presented using standardized mean differences.
We included two studies with a total of 68 participants. No evidence was found for an effect of dance/movement therapy on body image in women with breast cancer. The data of one study with moderate risk of bias suggested that dance/movement therapy had a large beneficial effect on participants’ quality of life (QoL). The second trial reported a large beneficial effect on fatigue. However, this trial was at high risk of bias. The individual studies did not find support for an effect of dance/movement therapy on mood, distress, and mental health. It is unclear whether this was due to ineffectiveness of the treatment or limited power of the trials. Finally, the results of one study did not find evidence for an effect of dance/movement therapy on shoulder range of motion (ROM) or arm circumference in women who underwent a lumpectomy or breast surgery. However, this was likely due to large within-group variability for shoulder ROM and a limited number of participants with lymphedema.
We did not find support for an effect of dance/movement therapy on body image. The findings of one study suggest that dance/movement therapy may have a beneficial effect on QoL. However, the limited number of studies prevents us from drawing conclusions concerning the effects of dance/movement therapy on psychological and physical outcomes in cancer patients.