Dance Program to Encourage Movement
Homelessness is a growing concern across the United States of America. One agency in the Belltown district located in Seattle, Washington, is a place where homeless women can go to access and obtain needed resources (see Appendix A). A group of Seattle Pacific University (SPU) Nursing Students used primary and secondary prevention methods by creating a movement program that was aimed at the women at the agency. The goal of the project was for the women at the agency to participate in the dance program, to help decrease the chances of developing problems (i.e. diseases and injuries), to educate about the importance of movement, and to engage with them through the use of one-on-one interaction.
Many individuals in Seattle are experiencing homelessness. The SPU group wanted to help this population because homeless individuals are vulnerable to health complications (see Appendix B). At the beginning of the project, the SPU group used a Gantt Chart to delegate tasks, responsibilities, and roles for the project to each member (see Appendix C). Prior to going to the agency the SPU group assessed the agency’s website and noted what they do. Next, through the use of the windshield survey, the SPU group assessed both the women and the location of the agency. By talking with the women, and through a short interview with the manager Ms. Hansell, and director Ms. Tschurwald, the SPU group found that the women lack one-on-one interaction and movement throughout the day. The SPU group used the nursing process to analyze the information that was gathered, and concluded a nursing diagnosis: Activity intolerance related to immobility and physical deconditioning as evidenced by prolonged sitting, and decreased movement statements per residents and Ms. Hansell. The SPU group concluded that a dance program and one-on-one interaction would be most beneficial for the women. The SPU group also wanted to educate the women during the program to help them understand why physical activity is important to their daily lives.
Activities with Rationale
The SPU group created a twenty-minute dance demonstration video for the women at the agency (see Appendices D, E). The SPU group decided that a movement program would be best because movement is a very important activity of daily living in order to promote healthy lifestyles. Physical activity can increase one’s lifespan, build strong bones and muscles, reduce chances of developing health conditions, help maintain and lose weight, help one's heart stay healthy, improve circulation and sleep, and increase the amount of oxygen that goes to one’s body (CDC, 2021). With an increase in oxygen supply to the body, more energy can be produced (European Lung Foundation, 2016). When one is immobile, muscle strength can deteriorate and lose efficiency (CDC, 2021). Studies found that dancing can be beneficial to a person's physical, cognitive, and social functioning, and can positively affect a person's mood and self-confidence (Lakes et al., 2016). Another study shows that physical exercise increases the release of endorphins, which can improve the happiness of individuals (Abdulrasool et al., 2020). Stretching before and after activity is important because it decreases the risk for injuries to the muscles, ligaments, and tendons, and the risk for soreness (Jamtvedt et al., 2012). Holding each stretch for fifteen seconds promotes an increase in range of motion and flexibility, and can help reduce stiffness (Page, 2012). During the dance video, music was also incorporated into the program because studies have shown that music can be therapeutic, help relieve stress, and get one in tune with their emotions (Novotney, 2013) (see Appendix E).
The goal of the dance program was to promote movement and engage in one-on-one interaction with the women at the agency. During the first implementation day, there were a total of eight women who participated in the dance program, two of which danced alongside with the SPU group. There were technical issues with the DVD player, so the SPU group improvised and did not use the dance video. The SPU group connected to a speaker to play the music, and stretched and danced alongside the women. Some other limitations on the first implementation day of the program were some women were too shy to participate or were unable to due to medical reasons. The program also took place in the living room rather than the dining room, so there were less women in the area. After the first day, modifications were made to help better the program, such as the dance video being uploaded to a USB drive, the program was carried out in the dining room, and a staff member joined.
During the second implementation day, five people and one staff member participated in the program. Two of the five women completed the whole dance program, whereas the other three sat and occasionally participated, moving their arms and legs. Many women did not participate because of being too shy, for medical reasons, or because they had to clean. Although not all the women participated, some of the women enjoyed observing those who were engaged in the dance program. The program was a success because the women showed the SPU group positive verbal and nonverbal cues. The women verbally reported having a fun time, stated they would like to continue playing the dance video, and asked when the SPU group would be back. Nonverbal cues included the women smiling and actively participating in the program. Having water bottles provided for the women after the program was very beneficial for both days because it was an incentive for the women to participate. After the dance program was completed, the agency was able to keep the DVD and USB for future implementation.
The goal of the program was to bring movement to the women and to engage them in more one-on-one social interaction. This goal has been met because the women were directly impacted by the dance program in hopes of decreasing the women’s risk for developing or worsening health conditions. The SPU group interacted with the women one-on-one and many of the women participated in the dance program. The dance program successfully encouraged the women to engage in movement and be able to in the future, through the use of this resource.
Future recommendations for other individuals/groups are having more movement implementation sessions at the agency, and having more chair exercises. Having exercises that are slower would help the women keep up with the pace. Having more one-on-one interaction with the women prior to implementation, encouraging more staff to join, and dimming the lights, may be beneficial to make the women feel more comfortable. By having staff present during the dance program, the staff can learn how to carry out the dance program in the future. Going to the agency at a later time, around eleven o’clock am instead of nine-thirty am, there may be more women present and willing to participate. Finally, explaining the role of a nurse to the women would be advantageous because the women have a stereotypical idea of what nurses do, not all of them understand why the program was about movement.
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