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Behav. Sci. 2016, 6(4), 24; doi:10.3390/bs6040024

“We Dance and Find Each Other”1: Effects of Dance/Movement Therapy on Negative Symptoms in Autism Spectrum Disorder

1
Department of Psychology, University of Heidelberg, Hauptstr. 48-52, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
2
Department of Creative Arts Therapies and Therapy Sciences, Alanus University, Villestr. 3, 53347 Alfter/Bonn, Germany
3
Department of Therapy Sciences, SRH University Heidelberg, Maria-Probst-Str. 3, 69123 Heidelberg, Germany
4
Department of General Psychiatry, University of Heidelberg, Vossstr. 2-4, 69115 Heidelberg, Germany
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Jodi Robledo
Received: 2 August 2016 / Revised: 3 November 2016 / Accepted: 4 November 2016 / Published: 10 November 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Autism Spectrum Disorder 2016)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [402 KB, uploaded 22 November 2016]   |  

Abstract

The treatment of deficits in social interaction, a shared symptom cluster in persons with schizophrenia (negative symptoms) and autism spectrum disorder (DSM-5 A-criterion), has so far remained widely unsuccessful in common approaches of psychotherapy. The alternative approach of embodiment brings to focus body-oriented intervention methods based on a theoretic framework that explains the disorders on a more basic level than common theory of mind approaches. The randomized controlled trial at hand investigated the effects of a 10-week manualized dance and movement therapy intervention on negative symptoms in participants with autism spectrum disorder. Although the observed effects failed to reach significance at the conventional 0.05 threshold, possibly due to an undersized sample, an encouraging trend towards stronger symptom reduction in the treatment group for overall negative symptoms and for almost all subtypes was found at the 0.10-level. Effect sizes were small but clinically meaningful, and the resulting patterns were in accordance with theoretical expectations. The study at hand contributes to finding an effective treatment approach for autism spectrum disorder in accordance with the notion of embodiment. View Full-Text
Keywords: autism spectrum disorder; embodiment; negative symptoms; dance movement therapy; randomized control trial; intervention methods autism spectrum disorder; embodiment; negative symptoms; dance movement therapy; randomized control trial; intervention methods
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Hildebrandt, M.K.; Koch, S.C.; Fuchs, T. “We Dance and Find Each Other”1: Effects of Dance/Movement Therapy on Negative Symptoms in Autism Spectrum Disorder. Behav. Sci. 2016, 6, 24.

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