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The Arts and Medicine
September 8, 2020

Dance for Respiratory Patients in Low-Resource Settings

Author Affiliations
  • 1National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom
  • 2Department of Behavioural Science and Health, University College London, London, United Kingdom
  • 3Makerere Lung Institute, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda
  • 4Faculty of Health, Plymouth University, Plymouth, United Kingdom
JAMA. 2020;324(10):921-922. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.15426

Chronic respiratory disease is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality globally and disproportionately affects people in low-income settings.1 Pulmonary rehabilitation programs are an effective intervention available for people with chronic respiratory disease, and exercise training is a core component of these programs.2 Recent years have seen growing interest in integrating alternative forms of exercise training, such as yoga, Tai Chi, and dance3 into pulmonary rehabilitation programs to make them more engaging and enjoyable. Dance, in particular, is an effective form of exercise training demonstrated to improve motor function (balance, strength, exercise capacity), metabolic parameters, and quality of life in older patients and persons with movement disorders.4-6 As an intervention for respiratory patients, dance has been shown, in small studies, to improve 6-minute walk distance, balance (measured using the Brief Balance Evaluation Systems Test [BESTest]), balance confidence (measured using the Activities-Specific Balance Confidence Scale [ABC scale]), and Chronic Respiratory Disease Questionnaire–measured symptoms.7

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