Project Title: Moving to Breathe, Breathing to Move: A study on the benefits of choral singing and dance for people with neuromuscular conditions.
Sponsors: Muscular Dystrophy Canada, MITACS
Principal Investigator: Danielle Peers, PhD (Assistant Professor), firstname.lastname@example.org
Co-Investigators: Janice Richman-Eisenstat, MD (Clinical Associate Professor) Kelvin Jones, PhD (Associate Professor)
Hernish Acharya, MD (Associate Clinical Professor)
Research Assistants & Instructors:
Lindsay Eales (Certified Occupational Therapist, Doctoral Candidate, Integrated Dance Specialist)
Kelsie Acton (Doctoral Candidate, Integrated Dance Specialist)
Aidan Toth (Master's student in rehabilitation sciences)
Susan Farrell (Choir instructor, Artistic Director Braille Tones)
Purpose: A research project studying the benefits of singing and dancing programs on breathing, quality of life, and quality of leisure for people with neuromuscular conditions.
With support from a Muscular Dystrophy Canada seed grant and a grant from MITACS, we ran a 15-week singing and dancing program for adults with neuromuscular conditions. Both singing and dancing have been shown to improve physical health, mental health, breathing capacities, and quality of life for a range of people with and without disabilities. These are also activities that can be adapted easily around each individual’s abilities. Little was known about how these activities could be modified for, and used to support, people with neuromuscular conditions.
We hired expert instructors to teach 90-minute singing and dancing programs once-per-week for 15 weeks. Adults with a range of neuromuscular conditions were recruited to participate through the MDC Edmonton Chapter, and two medical facilities. 9 people participated in some part of the program. Some of these opted out of the research measures, and others did not attend regularly, meaning we have limited data. Breathing tests, quality of life questionnaires, and qualitative interviews were completed before and after the program. During the program we used special vests (Hexoskins) to track breathing, asked people about how tired they felt, how we could improve the program, and we also made a video together
Results & Knowledge Mobilization
Plain language findings - English (attached)
Résumé - Français (attached)
Academic Publications: In submission
Knowledge Mobilization Videos:
Investigators: Danielle Peers and Timothy Konoval
Funding: SSHRC Insight Development Grant
In this two-year project, we are creating a database of websites from all of the disabiltiy sport programs in Canada. We will use these websites to identity which policies, rules, procedures, programs and discourses may serve to encourage the participation of certain people who experience disability while detering or disqualifying others. We hope to identify: 1) groups of people who are underserved by the entire disability sport system; 2) some of the most significant-yet-changeable barriers to participation; 3) examples of programs that are creatively addressing these barriers.
Inclusive movement programs have been internationally championed as a basic right of people with disabilities, and a vehicle for their broader social inclusion (United Nations, 2008). The Canadian Government (2013) has responded with claims about the existing inclusivity of its movement programs, in particular, disability sport. These claims, however, contradicts Statistics Canada’s report that only 3% of people with disabilities have regular access to organized sport (Canadian Paralympic Committee, 2013). The problem at the heart of this research is that celebratory accounts of our inclusivity can stop academics and practitioners from critically engaging with the discourses, practices, and structures of our movement programs, which seem to be systemically discouraging, marginalizing, or outright excluding the large majority of people who experience disability in Canada.
Knowledge Translation Outcomes: