Advertisement

The Effectiveness of Dance/Movement Therapy Interventions for Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Systematic Review

  • Hideki TakahashiEmail author
  • Kanae Matsushima
  • Toshihiro Kato
Article
  • 42 Downloads

Abstract

The use of dance/movement therapy (DMT) as a treatment modality for children and adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has been studied extensively since the 1970s. This systematic review of studies published between 1970 and 2018 aims to (a) verify the quality of DMT and ASD studies using Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines, and (b) evaluate the effectiveness of DMT interventions for individuals with ASD. Keyword analyses of four electronic databases—Medline, Pubmed, Cinahl, and Springer Link—were used to select the studies examined in this research study, with seven selected according to specific conditions. Two studies after 2016 were identified as having the highest level of evidence at level 2b on the scale of The Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine: Levels of Evidence. Two studies conducted before 1985 were lower than level 4. Five studies after 2015 were found to have either fair or low risk of bias according to the Assessment of Controlled Intervention Studies developed by National Institutes of Health. Two pre-1985 studies were evaluated as having a high risk of bias. While this study found that the quality of DMT and ASD studies has improved in recent years, future research must demonstrate greater scientific rigor in documenting the efficacy of DMT treatment interventions. It also found that imitation (mirroring) interventions helped individuals with ASD improve their social skills.

Keywords

Dance movement therapy Autism spectrum disorder Imitation Mirroring Social skills Systematic review 

Notes

Acknowledgements

I am grateful to Cathy Appel for her helpful comments and suggestion on earlier drafts of this manuscript.

Funding

This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

References

  1. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorder: DSM-5 (5th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Baron-Cohen, S. (2008). Autism and Asperger syndrome (pp. 15–28). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Baudino, L. M. (2010). Autism spectrum disorder: A case of misdiagnosis. American Dance Therapy Association, 32, 113–129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Behrends, A., Muller, S., & Dziobek, I. (2012). Moving in and out of synchrony: A concept for a new intervention fostering empathy through interactional movement and dance. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 39, 107–116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bräuninger, I. (2012a). The efficacy of dance movement therapy group on improvement of quality of life: A randomized controlled trial. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 39, 296–303.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bräuninger, I. (2012b). Dance movement therapy group intervention in stress treatment: A randomized controlled trial (RCT). The Arts in Psychotherapy, 39, 443–450.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Autism spectrum disorder. Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network. Retrieved May 31, 2018 from https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/addm.html.
  8. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Autism spectrum disorder. Data and Statistic. Retrieved May 31, 2018 from https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/data.html.
  9. Center for Evidence Based Medicine. Oxford Center for evidence-based medicine level of evidence March 2009. Retrieved February 26, 2018 from https://www.cebm.net/2009/06/oxford-centre-evidence-based-medicine-levels-evidence-march-2009/.
  10. Cruz, R. F., & Berrol, C. F. (2012). Dance/movement therapy in action: A working guide to research options (2nd ed., pp. 242–243). Springfield, IL: Charles C Thomas.Google Scholar
  11. De Groof, E. J., Cabral, V. N., Buskens, C. J., Morton, D. G., Hahnloser, D., … on behalf of the research committee of the European Society of Coloprotology. (2016). Systematic review of evidence and consensus on perianal fistula: An analysis of national and international guidelines. The Association of Coloproctology of Great Britain and Ireland, 18(4), 0119–0134.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. de Natale, E. R., Kai, E. R., Paulus, K. S., Aiello, E., Sann, B., Manca, A., … Deriu, F. (2017). Dance therapy improves motor and cognitive functions in patients with Parkinson’s disease. Neuro Rehabilitation, 40, 141–144.Google Scholar
  13. DeBoth, K. K., & Reynolds, S. (2017). A systematic review of sensory-based autism subtypes. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 36, 44–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Duggan, D. (1978). Goals and methods in dance therapy with severely multiply handicapped children. American Journal of Dance Therapy, 2(1), 31–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Ehler, S., & Gillberg, C. (1993). The epidemiology of asperger syndrome: A total population and forensic aspects. Journal of Child Psychology, 34(8), 1327–1350.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hartshorn, K., Olds, L., Field, T., Delage, J., Cullen, C., & Escalona, A. (2001). Creative movement therapy benefits children with autism. Early Child Development and Care, 166, 1–5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hildebrandt, M. K., Koch, S. C., & Fuchs, T. (2016). “We Dance and Find Each Other”: Effects of dance/movement therapy on negative symptoms in autism spectrum disorder. Behavioral Science, 6(4), 24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Houghton, R., & Beebee, B. (2016). Dance/movement therapy: Learning to look through video microanalysis. American Journal of Dance Therapy, 38, 334–357.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Jay, D. (1991). Effect of a dance program on the creativity of preschool handicapped children. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 8(4), 305–316.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Karkou, V., Oliver, S., & Lycouris, S. (2017). The oxford handbook of dance and wellbeing. In V. Karkou, S. Oliver, & S. Lycouris (Eds.), The arts in psychotherapy (pp. 443–450). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Koch, S. C., Gaida, J., Kortum, R., Bodingbauer, B., Manders, E., Thomas, E., … Fuchs, T. (2016). Body image in autism: An exploratory study on the effects of dance movement therapy. Autism, 6(2), 1–7.Google Scholar
  22. Koch, S., Kunz, T., Lykou, S., & Cruz, R. (2014). Effects of dance movement therapy on health-related psychological outcome: A meta-analysis. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 41, 46–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Koch, S. C., Mehl, L., Sobanski, E., & Sieber, M. (2015). Fixing the mirrors: A feasibility study of the effects of dance movement therapy on young adults with autism spectrum disorder. Autism, 9(3), 338–350.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Koehne, S., Behrends, A., Fairhurst, M. T., & Dziobek, I. (2016). Fostering social cognition through an imitation- and synchronization-based dance/movement intervention in adults with autism spectrum disorder: A controlled proof-of-concept study. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 85, 27–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Levy, F. J. (2005). Dance movement therapy: A healing art (2nd ed.). Reston, VA: American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.Google Scholar
  26. Lotter, V. (1966). Epidemiology of autistic conditions in young children. Social Psychiatry, 1(3), 124–135.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Martin, M. (2014). Moving on the spectrum: Dance/movement therapy as a potential early intervention tool for children with autism spectrum disorder. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 41, 545–553.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Mason, K. (1980). Focus on dance IX: Dance for the handicapped (pp. 37–41). Reston, VA: American. Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance,Google Scholar
  29. Mastrominico, A., Fuchs, T., Manders, E., Steffinger, L., Hirjak, D., Sieber, M., … Koch, S. C. (2018). Effect of dance movement therapy on adult patients with autism spectrum disorder: A randomized controlled trial. Behavioral Science, 8(7), 61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Mateos-Moreno, D., & Atencia-Doña, L. (2013). Effect of a combined dance/movement therapy and music therapy on young adults diagnosed with sever autism. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 40, 465–472.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Murcia, C. Q., Kreutz, G., Clift, S., & Bongard, S. (2010). Shall we dance? An exploration of perceived benefits of dancing on well-being. Arts & Health, 2(2), 149–163.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. National Institute of Health (NIH) National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Quality assessment of controlled intervention studies. Retrieved February 26, 2018 https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/study-quality-assessment-tools.
  33. Pan, C. Y., & Frey, G. C. (2006). Physical activity patterns in young with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 36, 597–606.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. PRISMA. (2015). Transparent reporting of systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Retrieved March 9, 2018 from http://www.prisma-statement.org/.
  35. Samartitter, R., & Payne, H. (2017). Through the kinesthetic lens: Observation of social attunement in autism spectrum disorders. Behavioral sciences, 7, 14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Scharoun, S. M., Reinders, N. J., Bryden, P. J., & Fletcher, P. C. (2014). Dance/movement therapy as an Intervention for children with autism spectrum disorders. American Journal of Dance Therapy, 36, 209–228.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Siegel, E. V. (1973). Movement therapy with autistic children. Psychoanalytic Review, 60(1), 141–149.Google Scholar
  38. Takahashi, H. (2015). Dance/movement therapy with blind and visually impaired children in nepal. ProQuest Dissertation and Theses Database, UMI Number: 1592052, pp. 1–28Google Scholar
  39. Teixeira-Machado, L. (2015). Dance therapy in autism: A case report. Fisioterapia e Pesquisa, 22(2), 205–211.Google Scholar
  40. Torrance, J. (2003). Autism, aggression, and developing a therapeutic contract. American Journal of Dance Therapy, 25(2), 97–109.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Weisbroad, J. (1974). Body movement therapy and the visually-impaired person. In K. C. Mason (Ed.), Focus on dance Vll (pp. 49–52). Washington, DC: American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.Google Scholar
  42. Wing, L. (1993). The definition and prevalence of autism: A review. European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 2(2), 61–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Wolf-Schein, E. G., Fisch, G. S., & Cohen, I. L. (1985). A study of the use of nonverbal systems in the differential diagnosis of autistic, mentally retarded and fragile X individuals. American Journal of Dance Therapy, 8, 67–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© American Dance Therapy Association 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hideki Takahashi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kanae Matsushima
    • 1
  • Toshihiro Kato
    • 1
  1. 1.Human Health Science Department of Brain Function and RehabilitationGraduate School of Medicine Kyoto UniversityKyotoJapan

Personalised recommendations