Article

Effectiveness on the health of an annual course of Biodanza: Empirical study with 235 people

Authors:
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the authors.

Abstract

Biodance is a discipline which is proposed as a path of personal growth and development with the goal of promoting individual well-being. The study has evaluated the specific effects of Biodance on various dimensions of well-being such as: psychological well-being, stress and alexithymia. There were 235 participants involved in this study, divided into three groups, the first is an experimental group and the two others are control groups. The experimental group Biodance, is made up of 96 participants who started a bio-dance course for the first time; 71 participants who started a dance course constitute the Physical Activity control group and the Sedentary control group, consisting of 68 participants, did not practice any physical activity. The data collection was done through three questionnaires filled out over two periods of time: at the beginning (pre-test) and at the end of the courses, which lasted for about 9 months (post-test). The scales used for the data collection were the following: the Psychological Well-Being Scale used to evaluate individual well-being, the Measure du Stress Psychologique to measure stress and Toronto Alexithymia Scale, to evaluate the alexithymia. The results highlighted that participants of the Biodance group, after one year of taking the course, show an improvement of their psychological well-being and a decreased of level of stress and minor level of alexithymia. However both Physical Activity and Sedentary control groups do not present significant variation between pre and post-test. To conclude, the results show that Biodance is indeed a practice to promote well-being and individual development.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the authors.

... HMPs include traditional Eastern movement practices such as Yoga, Tai Chi, and Qigong, which have a long history with roots in India and China, but also a range of newer, "Westernborn" movement practices, for example, 5Rhythms, Biodanza, Nia, Pilates, and Eurythmy [5]. Research on health outcomes is extensive, and generally positive, for the traditional Eastern HMPs [6][7][8][9][10][11][12], and in its infancy, but still promising, for the newer Western-born HMPs [13][14][15][16][17][18]. ...
... A recent survey among 5Rhythms, Biodanza, and other free-movement-based holistic dance practices had a majority of female, white, and university-educated respondents, with many reporting a mental health condition [29]. In an Italian study, people signing up for a yearlong course in Biodanza were found to have different emotional characteristics than those signing up for other dance courses [16]. A survey among Brazilian Pilates participants showed the majority of respondents to be middle-aged women who did not participate regularly in other exercise activities and suffered some musculoskeletal pain [30]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Holistic movement practices (HMPs) are an emerging category of physical activity, contributing to the diversification of physical activity opportunities. Purposefully incorporating not only physical but also mental, social, and/or spiritual elements, HMPs have received limited research attention with respect to participation parameters. The purpose of this study was to begin to map HMPs’ participation potential by exploring the provision features of HMPs in Melbourne. Data were collected via internet searches, with a focus on events offered. Event features, including type, cost, duration, venue address, and target groups, were recorded. Associated neighbourhood characteristics were also explored by linking venue locations to selected census information. Provision was documented for Yoga and Pilates in central Melbourne (1011 events), for Tai Chi and Qigong (323 events), and for a range of smaller HMPs (149 events) across Greater Melbourne. Results indicated a wide range in provision features. Affinities with the holistic nature of HMPs were noticeable in venue choices and neighbourhood socio-demographics. Mention of specific target groups was infrequent. Results are discussed in light of implications for uptake. HMPs exemplify the increasing diversity of physical activity opportunities in modern-day societies. Further research to elucidate their place in the landscape of physical activities is warranted.
... The look, as well as, sometimes, the contact, can be put to contribution. Similar to DMT, there are some recent publications showing the benefits of Biodanza on health (Giannelli et al., 2015), stress reduction and wellbeing (Stueck and Tofts, 2016) and in fibromyalgia (Carbonell-Baezan et al., 2012). ...
Preprint
Full-text available
Biodanza is a new approach towards health and well-being. It aims to work with dance and group experiences to reinforce intra-and inter-individual resources, reduce stress and increase well-being. Up to 2016, 13 studies and one systematic review about Biodanza studies have been published. The Research Network BIONET was created in order to connect researchers and to find a consensus on the standards of good quality studies. In this review, the authors summarised seven Biodanza studies on stress reduction and well-being. The authors describe and create criteria to evaluate the quality of the research works inspired by international standards of clinical and social scientific intervention research. In several studies, Biodanza has an effect on impatience, ability to recover, feeling of activation, physiological sympathetic activity (e.g. heart rate, skin response), increased mood, feeling of well-being, immunological effectiveness on IgA and increased expression of emotion. One study also showed the effect on stress reduction. Also there was a large difference between those who choose Biodanza (they have a significant lower status of stress reduction) and the other groups. In this study, the dropout rate was high (42%); in the other studies, it was under 10%.
Article
Full-text available
This study describes the measurement of stress hormones in relation to the effect of dance/movement therapy as interpreted by patients from viewing their movement patterns before and 8 months after the completion of treatment. Fibromyalgia patients (FMS) suffer from longlasting generalized pain and other physical and psychological symptoms such as headache, anxiety, fatigue, stiffness, psychological distress, concentration difficulties, and sleeping problems. Data were collected over a period of 14 months. Thirty-six female patients with a mean age of 57 years diagnosed with fibromyalgia were consecutively recruited from rheumatologists within the Stockholm Rheumatological District. All 36 female FMS patients were randomly assigned to either treatment or control groups. The treatment group comprised 20 patients and the control group, 16 patients. Video-interpretation of movement patterns was conducted for each patient. Patients were videotaped individually before the dance/movement therapy sessions at baseline and at months 6 and 14. Mean plots show slightly different mean cortisol levels between the two groups at baseline. There was a difference in the basal levels of the hormone between the groups. The levels of prolactin were the same at baseline in the two patient groups. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Full-text available
Previous research on neuroendocrine responding to a psychological stressor in individuals with Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) has provided inconsistent results. A recent meta-analysis concluded that Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), which is frequently comorbid with SAD, is associated with blunted stress reactivity. It is, thus, possible that comorbidity status contributes to the inconsistent findings in the SAD literature. In this study, salivary cortisol responses to a psychological stressor were examined in three groups: healthy controls (CTL), SAD, and SAD with comorbid MDD (COM). The SAD group differed from the other two groups in their cortisol stress reactivity. It is important to note that analyses combining participants with SAD with and without comorbid MDD obscured findings of cortisol reactivity. In addition, the differences in cortisol reactivity cannot be accounted for by participants' affective responses to the stressor. The current findings indicate that individuals with SAD exhibit distinct stress-related cortisol responses depending on their comorbidity statuses.
Article
Full-text available
The objective of this study was to determine the effects of a 3-month Biodanza intervention in women with fibromyalgia (FM). This was a controlled trial. The study was conducted at a university research laboratory and social center. The study comprised 59 women with FM recruited from a local association of patients with FM. Participants were allocated to the Biodanza intervention group (n = 27) or usual-care group (n = 32). The Biodanza intervention was carried out once a week for 3 months. The outcome measures included the following: Pain threshold, body composition (body-mass index and estimated body fat percentage), physical fitness (30-second chair stand, handgrip strength, chair sit and reach, back scratch, blind flamingo, 8 feet up and go, and 6-minute walk test) and psychologic outcomes (Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire [FIQ], Short-Form Health Survey 36, Vanderbilt Pain Management Inventory, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, General Self-Efficacy Scale, and Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale). We observed a significant interaction effect (group*time) for pain threshold of several tender points (left [L] and right [R] side of the anterior cervical and supraspinatus, trapezius L and lateral epicondyle R, algometer score, tender points count), body fat percentage, and FIQ total score. In the intervention group, post hoc analysis revealed a significant improvement in pain threshold of the anterior cervical R and L and supraspinatus R and L tender points (all p < 0.05), algometer score (p = 0.008), tender point count (p = 0.002), body fat percentage (p = 0.001), and FIQ total score (p = 0.003). A 3-month (one session per week) Biodanza intervention shows improvements on pain, body composition, and FM impact in female patients.
Article
Full-text available
Dancing is a mode of physical activity that may allow older adults to improve their physical function, health, and well-being. However, no reviews on the physical benefits of dancing for healthy older adults have been published in the scientific literature. Using relevant databases and keywords, 15 training and 3 cross-sectional studies that met the inclusion criteria were reviewed. Grade B-level evidence indicated that older adults can significantly improve their aerobic power, lower body muscle endurance, strength and flexibility, balance, agility, and gait through dancing. Grade C evidence suggested that dancing might improve older adults' lower body bone-mineral content and muscle power, as well as reduce the prevalence of falls and cardiovascular health risks. Further research is, however, needed to determine the efficacy of different forms of dance, the relative effectiveness of these forms of dance compared with other exercise modes, and how best to engage older adults in dance participation.
Article
Full-text available
The 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20) has been shown in previous research to measure a general dimension of alexithymia with three intercorrelated factors. This study evaluated the reliability and factorial validity of an Italian translation of the TAS-20 in a group of normal adults (N = 206) and in a mixed group of medical and psychiatric outpatients (N = 642). Using confirmatory factor analyses, the previously established three-factor model of the TAS-20 was found to be replicable in both groups. In addition, the Italian TAS-20 demonstrated adequate estimates of internal reliability and test-retest reliability. Although evaluation of the convergent, discriminant, and concurrent validity of the TAS-20 is required in Italian populations, the present results support the use of the Italian translation of the scale for clinical and research purposes.
Article
Full-text available
Research investigating the alexithymia construct is advancing rapidly and has broadened considerably in recent years as a result of interdisciplinary efforts, new methodologies, and experimental techniques. New developments in the field include a shift from measurement-based validational studies to experimental investigations, which explore the relation between alexithymia and various aspects of emotional processing; the use of functional brain imaging techniques to explore neural activity associated with alexithymia; and experimental studies that measure multiple indices of physiological response to standardized emotion-inducing stimuli. Developmental research and attachment studies are providing ways for investigating potential etiological sources of the construct; and experimental approaches are being used to explore relations between alexithymia and other health-related personality constructs. In addition, longitudinal and treatment studies are clarifying the relation between alexithymia and psychopathology and the extent to which alexithymia predicts treatment outcome. Investigators need to embrace the new methods and techniques for the field of research to further increase understanding of the alexithymia construct and its association with physical and mental illness.
Article
Full-text available
Increasingly, researchers attend to both positive and negative aspects of mental health. Such distinctions call for clarification of whether psychological well-being and ill-being comprise opposite ends of a bipolar continuum, or are best construed as separate, independent dimensions of mental health. Biology can help resolve this query--bipolarity predicts 'mirrored' biological correlates (i.e. well-being and ill-being correlate similarly with biomarkers, but show opposite directional signs), whereas independence predicts 'distinct' biological correlates (i.e. well-being and ill-being have different biological signatures). Multiple aspects of psychological well-being (eudaimonic, hedonic) and ill-being (depression, anxiety, anger) were assessed in a sample of aging women (n = 135, mean age = 74) on whom diverse neuroendocrine (salivary cortisol, epinephrine, norepinephrine, DHEA-S) and cardiovascular factors (weight, waist-hip ratio, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, HDL cholesterol, total/HDL cholesterol, glycosylated hemoglobin) were also measured. Measures of psychological well-being and ill-being were significantly linked with numerous biomarkers, with some associations being more strongly evident for respondents aged 75+. Outcomes for seven biomarkers supported the distinct hypothesis, while findings for only two biomarkers supported the mirrored hypothesis. This research adds to the growing literature on how psychological well-being and mental maladjustment are instantiated in biology. Population-based inquiries and challenge studies constitute important future directions.
Article
The study analyzed the relationship between time perspective and social well-being in 386 undergraduates (mean age 21.72; 110 males and 276 females). They filled in two self-report questionnaires, the Questionnaire on Social Well-being and the short form of the Zimbardo Inventory on Time Perspective (STPI), that includes two subscales, the present and the future. The differences of gender on time perspective and social well-being was also considered. Correlational analysis showed that future time perspective is positively correlated with all the dimensions of social well-being and with social wellbeing as overall score, while present time perspective is negatively correlated with social actualisation, social coherence and general social well-being. A multiple regression model evidenced future time perspective as positive explicative variable of overall social well-being. Results confirm the relevance of time dimension for social well-being during the stage of emerging adulthood and suggest to investigate in a more systematic way the role of time perspective in the positive development of emerging adults.
Article
This paper presents the experience with a brief group work involving patients confined to a mental institute for offenders. The authors discuss the theoretic clinical aspects relative to two cycles of eight group encounters analyzing the transcripts with the Social Cognition and Object Relational Scale (SCORS). The principal goal of the intervention is aimed at overcoming the condition of interpersonal solitude perceived and recognizing the analogies-differences in the experiences with others. The intervention was conducted with an "in the group" method, an Evolutivity-Affectivity- Intersubjectivity-Experience model (EAIE) in which the conductor of the group actively stimulates the participants to freely express thoughts and associations as well "solutions" for hypothetical situations related to the story read. The focus is on the single person and on the opportunities that the group provides because of the relational activating context in which it is possible to share and confront with others. The complete narrative of each encounter was written "in direct" on a screen visible to all participants. The text was analyzed using SCORS as a means to identify the quality of patients' answers. Even with patients with severe psychopathology the group seemed to represent an occasion for exchange, knowledge, respect and growth which promotes the capacity to reflect, elaborate and construct a growing interpersonal awareness.
Article
Aim. The measurement of psychological well-being and positive functioning has important conceptual and methodological implications. The aim of this study was to present the Italian version of Carol Ryff's Psychological Well-Being Scales (PWB) and to analyze their psychometric characteristics. Method. PWB is a 84 item self-rating inventory, which consists of six scales which represent the six dimensions of psychological well-being: self-acceptance, autonomy, environmental mastery, personal growth, purpose in life and positive relations. It has been translated into Italian and administered to a sample of 415 people. Test-retest reliability, internal correlations, mean scores and differences according to sociodemographic variables-such as age, sex, cultural level and social class-have been calculated. Results. Test-retest and internal correlation coefficients are significant for the six scales, replicating American studies. There are significant differences between males and females in the scales of environmental mastery, personal growth, purpose in life and self-acceptance. Age differences are significant only in the environmental mastery and personal growth scales. People with high cultural level show significantly higher scores in purpose in life and personal growth. There are significant differences according to social class in autonomy, environmental mastery and self-acceptance, which, however, have been not replicated in the retest. Discussion. The findings suggest that PWB presents good psychometric characteristics. It can be used also in Italy because it provides a complete evaluation of psychological well-being.
Article
Nurses' empathy for and connection with patients demonstrates core professional values which are essential but, consequently, attract certain factors capable of inducing stress. Studies of the roles and responsibilities associated with nursing have implicated multiple and conflicting demands which might not be without some resultant effects. However, little research has been conducted on these work characteristics in developing economies to determine how these might impact the nurse employees' performance. There is need for evidence-based empirical findings to facilitate improvement in healthcare services. This study examined stress and level of burnout among Nigerian nurses (n = 2245) who were selected using stratified random sampling. The participants were measured using an 'abridged measures booklet' adopted from the Maslach Burnout Inventory-General Survey (MBI-GS), Job Autonomy Questionnaire (JAQ), Questionnaire on Organisational Stress-Doetinchem (VOS-D) and Job Diagnostic Survey (JDS). The roles of work-home interference (WHI) and home-work interference (HWI), with respect to work characteristics and burnout (paying special attention to gender), were examined. Analyses using t-tests and linear regression showed no gender differences in burnout levels among Nigerian nurses, who experience medium to high levels of emotional exhaustion, medium levels of depersonalisation and high levels of personal accomplishment. WHI and HWI were found to mediate the relationship between work characteristics and burnout. The meditational relationship differs between genders. This study calls for further research into gender and burnout among the caring professions, especially in under-developed and developing economies of the world.
Article
To explore the associations between alexithymia and increased somatic morbidity. The mechanisms underlying these associations, however, are still unclear. Furthermore, data on the association between alexithymia and mortality are scarce. A total of 2321 Finnish men, aged 46 to 61 years, were followed up for an average of 20 years. Mortality rates were obtained from the national register. The associations between baseline alexithymia and cardiovascular disease (CVD), all-cause, injury, and cancer deaths were examined with adjustments for age and several behavioral (smoking, alcohol consumption, physical activity), physiological (low- and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, body mass index, systolic blood pressure, history of CVD), and psychosocial (marital status, education, depression) factors. After all adjustments, the risk of CVD death was increased by 1.2% for each 1-point increase in Toronto Alexithymia Scale-26 scores. Alexithymia is associated with increased cardiovascular mortality.
Article
To present a quantitative review of the empirical literature on somatisation and alexithymia. Medline and PsycLIT searches for relevant studies were conducted. Meta-analytical techniques were applied to quantify the strength of the associations that were found. A small to moderate relationship was found between general alexithymia and somatic symptom reporting. The alexithymia dimension measuring difficulty in identifying feelings showed the strongest association with symptom reports. The alexithymia dimension measuring externally oriented thinking was virtually unrelated to somatic symptom reports. Compared to healthy control populations, subjects suffering from a somatoform condition were significantly more alexithymic, with effect sizes ranging from moderate to large. The studies comparing somatoform to medical or psychiatric conditions yielded inconclusive results. By means of quantitative procedures, an association between general alexithymia and somatic symptom reporting was established. Due to the use of questionnaires that can only check for symptoms, not whether these symptoms are medically explained or not, it is however not possible to draw conclusions on somatisation properly defined. The inconsistent results found when comparing somatoform conditions to medical and psychiatric controls may be attributed to confounding variables. In future studies, these variables should be statistically controlled to establish a more consistent pattern of associations between somatoform conditions and alexithymia. It is, however, equally feasible that this inconsistency reflects the nonspecific character of the association between alexithymia and somatisation. The presence of only one prospective study does not allow to draw conclusions on alexithymia as a predisposing factor for somatisation.
Article
The pathophysiological mechanisms underlying the association between psychological stress and cardiovascular disease are unclear. Interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) are inflammatory cytokines playing a pivotal role in atherosclerosis. IL-1beta activates IL-6, and both cytokines are produced by peripheral blood mononuclear cells. One mechanism through which stress could promote atherosclerosis is by regulating mononuclear cell cytokine gene expression. We studied cardiovascular and cytokine responses in 32 healthy men participating in two 5-min mental tasks and in 10 controls. Blood pressure and heart rate, assessed using a Portapres-2, increased significantly following tasks in all participants. Plasma IL-6 levels, determined by ELISA, also increased following tasks, with maximum levels detected 2h post-stress. Quantitative RT-PCR analysis showed that mononuclear cell IL-1beta gene expression rose significantly at 30 min post-stress and remained elevated at 75 and 120 min. Increases in IL-1beta gene expression correlated positively with plasma IL-6 responses, cardiovascular responses, subjective stress ratings, and anxiety symptoms. No changes were detected in controls. Stress-induced activation of mononuclear IL-1beta is a novel mechanism potentially linking stress and heart disease. This mechanism could also play a role in other inflammatory diseases exacerbated by stress.
Article
This study assessed the profiles of psychological health and changes in neurohormones of adolescents with mild depression after 12 weeks of dance movement therapy (DMT). Forty middle school seniors (mean age: 16 years old) volunteered to participate in this study and were randomly assigned into either a dance movement group (n = 20) or a control group (n = 20). All subscale scores of psychological distress and global scores decreased significantly after the 12 weeks in the DMT group. Plasma serotonin concentration increased and dopamine concentration decreased in the DMT group. These results suggest that DMT may stabilize the sympathetic nervous system. In conclusion, DMT may be effective in beneficially modulating concentrations of serotonin and dopamine, and in improving psychological distress in adolescents with mild depression.
Article
Recent research has shown that dance, specifically tango, may be an appropriate and effective strategy for ameliorating functional mobility deficits in people who are frail and elderly. Individuals with Parkinson's disease (PD) experience declines in functional mobility that may be even more pronounced than those experienced by frail elderly individuals without PD. The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of two movement programs: tango classes or exercise classes. Nineteen subjects with PD were randomly assigned to a tango group or a group exercise class representative of the current classes offered in our geographical area for individuals with PD. Subjects completed a total of 20 tango or exercise classes and were evaluated the week before and the week following the intervention. Both groups showed significant improvements in overall Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) score and nonsignificant improvements in self-reported Freezing of Gait. In addition, the tango group showed significant improvements on the Berg Balance Scale. The exercise group did not improve on this measure. Finally, the tango group showed a trend toward improvement on the Timed Up and Go test that was not observed in the exercise group. Future studies with a larger sample are needed to confirm and extend our observation that tango may be an effective intervention to target functional mobility deficits in individuals with PD.