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27 May

【Highlight】The Effects of Dance Movement Therapy in the Treatment of Depression: A Multi- Centre, Randomised Controlled Trial in Finland

University of Jyväskylä, Finland

Researchers: Katriina Hyvönen, Päivi Pylvänäinen,  Joona S. Muotka and Raimo Lappalainen

Abstract: This multi-centre research investigates the effects of dance movement therapy (DMT) on participants diagnosed with depression. In total, 109 persons participated in the study in various locations in Finland. The participants were 39 years old, on average (range = 18–64 years), and most were female (96%). All participants received treatment as usual (TAU). They were randomised into DMT+TAU (n = 52) or TAU-only (n = 57). The participants in the DMT + TAU group were offered 20 DMT sessions twice a week for 10 weeks in addition to standard care. The measurement points included pre-treatment measurement at the baseline, post-treatment measurement at the end of the intervention, and a follow-up measurement 3 months afterward. The observed effects of the intervention among participants in the DMT+TAU group were a greater reduction in depression (BDI-I) and in indicators of physical and psychological distress (CORE-OM and SCL-90) in comparison to the participants who received TAU-only. At the 3-month follow-up, the corrected between-group effect sizes (ES) were medium and in favour of the DMT+TAU group (d = 0.60–0.72). These results are in line with the increasing number of research studies showing the benefits of DMT intervention among participants with depression, and these results indicate that DMT may improve the effectiveness of standard care.

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