Using Dance to Improve Diabetes Outcomes in African-American Women

Thursday, 16 July 2009: 3:45 PM

Carolyn J. Murrock, RN, PhD
Nursing, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH

Learning Objective 1: state the importance of developing interventions to reduce the global burden of diabetes and obesity.

Learning Objective 2: state the reasons for dance step modification enabling dance interventions to be applicable to various adults with diabetes.

Purpose: Physical inactivity is a principal risk factor for diabetes and obesity and both have reached epidemic proportions worldwide.  Furthermore, ethnic minorities and women are the most physically inactive and the most affected with these health concerns.  Thus, the purpose of this study was to document the between and within group effects of dancing two times per week for 12 weeks on glycolated hemoglobin (A1c), weight, body fat, and blood pressure (BP) in sedentary African American women with diabetes. 

Methods: This 2-group longitudinal study randomized the women to the dance or usual care group. The sample consisted of 46 women (24 dance and 22 usual care), 26-83 years of age.  The dependent variables of A1c, weight, body fat, and BP were measured before and after the intervention in both groups. 

Results: Following a significant MANCOVA, post-hoc univariate ANCOVA tests were conducted separately on each dependent variable and showed significant group mean differences in systolic BP (F = 8.3, p = .01, η2=.19) and body fat (F = 5.7, p = .02, η2 = .14).  To determine within group differences for the dance group, paired t tests showed significant reductions in all the diabetes outcomes.  For the usual care group, paired t tests revealed significant increases in A1c and systolic BP.  Conclusion:

The results indicated that dancing two times per week for 12 weeks was often enough to show significant group differences in systolic BP and body fat.  Furthermore, the within group changes in the diabetes outcomes for both groups were just as important since increases or decreases in A1c, weight, body fat, and BP are vital for overall health, risk factor management, and diabetes management. As a result, dance improved diabetes outcomes and can be an intervention for diabetes and obesity since dance is a part of many cultures worldwide.