Partnerships to Evaluate the Social Impact of Dance for Health: A Qualitative Inquiry

Rahshida Atkins, Janet A. Deatrick, Gale S. Gage, Selena Earley, David Earley, Terri H. Lipman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objectives: The purpose of this study is to determine the social impact and meaning of “Dance for Health” for participants who attended this community driven, intergenerational, physical activity dance program. Methods:This study employed a descriptive, qualitative design and utilized a participatory action research approach to obtain pilot data on fourteen participants between the ages 18 to 75. One focus group discussion with 13 participants and an individual interview with a female participant was conducted. Data collection took place in the community where intervention sessions were held. Audiotapes from one focus group discussion and one in depth individual interview were transcribed by a professional transcription service. The NVIVO computer program was used to organize the data. Directed content analysis of the data took place utilizing primary and secondary coding, category and theme development. Results: Three broad themes emerged representing the social impact of Dance for Health and included: (1) Enhancing the Well-being of the Individual, (2) Fostering Interpersonal Relationships and Connections, (3) Fostering Connections with the Community. Conclusion: A participatory action research approach facilitates successful collaborations between community organizations and academic institutions and can be used to evaluate the impact of physical activity programs on urban community residents. Participants experienced interpersonal and social benefits from regular attendance at the “Dance for Health” program, subsequently contributing to program sustainability. Focused attention to social determinants of physical activity participation can improve physical activity maintenance in residents who reside in under-resourced communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)124-138
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Community Health Nursing
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 3 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Community and Home Care
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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