gms | German Medical Science

27th German Cancer Congress Berlin 2006

German Cancer Society (Frankfurt/M.)

22. - 26.03.2006, Berlin

Dance/Movement Therapy with cancer in-patients – Evaluation of a group-intervention

Meeting Abstract

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27. Deutscher Krebskongress. Berlin, 22.-26.03.2006. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2006. DocIS073

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: March 20, 2006

© 2006 Mannheim.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



The inclusion of dance therapy within the psycho-social treatment of cancer patients is continually increasing. From 2002 until 2005, a project was carried out with 115 patients who took part in dance therapy in the Tumor Biology Center, Freiburg. The aim of the project was to identify the mechanisms by which this form of intervention acts. On average, these patients took part in seven dance therapy sessions during the standard three- to four-week in-patient stay. Changes in health-related quality of life (EORTC-QLQ-C30), anxiety and depression (HADS) and self-esteem (FSKN) were measured during the therapy and within the three months follow up. The possible mechanisms of dance therapy were evaluated using a questionnaire, which we developed, as well as through qualitative interviews. The questionnaire was filled out by the patients before and after the therapy intervention. The results showed a highly significant development in improving and stabilising the patients’ physical and psychological orientation, as well as increasing their feeling of self-esteem. As the Tumor Biology Center offers a comprehensive range of treatments, these results are probably not only due to the dance therapy. The factor-analytic evaluation of the specific questions on dance therapy found the following mechanisms: the dimensions of perception of body and self, pleasure produced by movement/vitality, emotionality, relaxation, catharsis and social components. The results indicate that dance therapy especially facilitates the individual expression of psychological and physical being, helps to relieve distress and encourages the experience of physical vitality. The results of the qualitative interviews supported these findings. Controlled intervention studies are necessary to verify the findings we observed.