Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Arts Psychother. 2017 Feb;52:1-9. doi: 10.1016/j.aip.2016.09.007. Epub 2016 Sep 30.

Development and Pilot Randomized Control Trial of a Drama Program to Enhance Well-being Among Older Adults.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive MC 0993, San Diego, CA 92103-0993 USA.
2
The Sam and Rose Stein Institute for Research on Aging, University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive MC 0012, San Diego, CA 92103-0012 USA.
3
Veterans Administration San Diego Health Care System, San Diego, California, 3350 La Jolla Village Drive, San Diego, CA 92161 USA.
4
California School of Professional Psychology, Alliant International University, San Diego, California, 10455 Pomerado Rd, San Diego, CA 92131 USA.
5
San Diego State University/University of California, San Diego Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology, San Diego, California, 9500 Gilman Drive MC 0993, San Diego, CA 92103-0993 USA.
6
Department of Anthropology, University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive MC 0532, San Diego, CA 92103-0532 USA.
7
The Pasadena Playhouse, Pasadena, California, 39 S El Molino Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101 USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Develop a novel theatre-based program and test its feasibility, tolerability, and preliminary efficacy for improving empathy/compassion and well-being among older adults.

METHOD:

Thirteen older adults were randomized to a 6-week Drama Workshop (DW) program or time-equivalent Backstage Pass (BP) control condition. Pre- and post-treatment measures included empathy, compassion, and mood scales. Additional post-treatment measures included self-rated change in empathy/compassion, confidence, and affect. Participants also rated their mood/affect after each session.

RESULTS:

The program was successfully completed and well-liked. No pre-to-post-treatment changes in empathy/compassion or mood symptoms were found in either group. Compared to BP, DW weekly ratings indicated higher levels of anxiety and lower happiness; however, the DW program had higher self-ratings of positive change in self-esteem, confidence, and happiness post-treatment.

DISCUSSION:

While the DW may not promote empathy/compassion and was personally challenging during the program, engagement in dramatic exercises and rehearsing and performing a dramatic piece was seen by participants as a positive growth experience, as indicated by the post-treatment ratings of enhanced self-esteem, confidence and happiness. Thus, such a program might be useful for counteracting some of the potential negative aspects of aging, including reduced self-efficacy due to physical limitations and negative affect due to losses.

KEYWORDS:

community engagement; drama instruction; positive psychological traits; randomized controlled trial; successful aging

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center