University College Dublin Research Study

Dancing for Health CIC partnered with the School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science, University College Dublin, Ireland to conduct a research study, titled, ‘Dancing for Health and Wellbeing: A Feasibility Study Examining Health Impacts of Online Dancing among Pulmonary Fibrosis Patients’. 

All participants of the study lived in Ireland and were at different stages of the pulmonary fibrosis disease. Tracey Barnes from Dancing for Health was chosen to be the dance expert in the research study based on her previous research experience and knowledge. During the pandemic, it was found that vulnerable people preferred to access online services, Dancing for Health CIC had already diversified their dance sessions for online use, creating a virtual seated dance programme, which was inclusive for all ages and abilities, making a great partnership for the research study. Tracey delivered the sessions via Zoom from the UK to the participants in Ireland.

The results of the study have been published in the Irish Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. The findings demonstrate that a virtual dance intervention is acceptable, enjoyable and feasible for improving health outcomes in Pulmonary Fibrosis patients. They found physical improvements in their dyspnoea (shortness of breath) and fatigue, and improvements in their emotional function and mental health, with an improved percentage of not feeling anxious or depressed post event rising from 42% up to 72%. The sessions literally helped them dance away the blues! 

View the Abstract on the Journal’s website:

Dancing for Health and Wellbeing: A Feasibility Study Examining Health Impacts of Online Dancing among Pulmonary Fibrosis Patients
Full quantitive research manuscript
Adobe Acrobat document [372.9 KB]

Here is a comment from Finula, a participant involved in the study, “ I have enjoyed these last few weeks so much. To include Wellbeing in the title is so appropriate as that very feeling is exactly what I feel, both in the anticipation, participation and aftermath. The physical benefits too. I really feel that my upper body gets such a workout, which is so good for cardio and pulmonary health. You will be happy to know that I had 7 other people in the restaurant doing the moves (and singing) “don’t blame it on the moonlight……..blame it on the boogie” Thursday night. The bonus was getting to meet you both. What lovely people, doing such worthwhile and valuable work. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.”