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Expressive bodies: demented persons’ communication in a dance therapy context

[journal article]

Nyström, Krister; Lauritzen, Sonja Olin

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Abstract Dementia is a disease that brings with it various limitations in the afflicted person’s communication with others. The purpose of this study is to explore, not the limitations, but the capacity of the demented person to communicate under conditions that differ from the everyday life of the care institution. Group dance therapy sessions with elderly, demented persons were video-taped and analysed with a focus on how verbal and non-verbal modes of communication were used by the participants. The ways the demented persons use body movements, free dance movements, speech and singing in different combinations is described and discussed in terms of different expressive modes, where body movements are used to substitute or support speech as well as to express thoughts, memories and emotions. The results from the study indicate that under conditions that allow for different modes of expression, the communication of the demented person can be found to be rich and varied in expression and content.
Free Keywords body movement; communication; dance therapy; dementia;
Publication Year 2005
Page/Pages p. 297-317
Journal Health, 9 (2005) 3
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)