Preliminary findings from the early phases of the Music and Movement for Health study: the feasibility of an arts-based health programme for older adults

Part of Special Series: WONCA World Rural Health Conference Abstracts 2022go to url


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Amanda Clifford
1 Associate Professor

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Steven Byrne
2 BA, MA, PhD, Postdoctoral Researcher *

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Orfhlaith Ni Bhriain
3 Lecturer

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Pui Sze Cheung
4 Researcher

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Ali Sheikhi
5 Biostatistician

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Catherine Woods
6 Professor

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Desmond O'Neill
7 Professor

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Rosemary Gowran
8 Lecturer

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Liam Glynn
9 MD, Professor of General Practice ORCID logo

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Hilary Moss
10 Course Director, Senior Lecturer

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Quinette Louw
11 Professor

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Lehana Thebane
12 Biostatistician

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Susan Coote
13 Professor

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Jonathan Salsberg
14 Senior Lecturer


*Dr Steven Byrne


1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 13, 14 University of Limerick, Castletroy, Limerick, Ireland

7 Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland

11 Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa

12 Institute for Research on Aging, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada


10 January 2023 Volume 23 Issue 1


RECEIVED: 20 September 2022

ACCEPTED: 20 September 2022


Clifford A, Byrne S, Ni Bhriain O, Cheung P, Sheikhi A, Woods C, O'Neill D, Gowran R, Glynn L, Moss H, Louw Q, Thebane L, Coote S, Salsberg J.  Preliminary findings from the early phases of the Music and Movement for Health study: the feasibility of an arts-based health programme for older adults. Rural and Remote Health 2023; 23: 8142. https://doi.org/10.22605/RRH8142


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence

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Introduction (including aim): There is a lack of community-based programmes for older adults in Ireland. Such activities are vital to enable older people to (re)connect after COVID-19 measures, which had a detrimental effect on physical function, mental health and socialisation. The aims of the preliminary phases of the Music and Movement for Health study were to refine stakeholder informed eligibility criteria, recruitment pathways and obtain preliminary measures for feasibility of the study design and programme, which incorporates research evidence, practice expertise and participant involvement.

Methods: Two Transparent Expert Consultations (TECs) (EHSREC No: 2021_09_12_EHS), and Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) meetings were conducted to refine eligibility criteria and recruitment pathways. Participants from three geographical regions in the mid-west of Ireland will be recruited and randomised by cluster to participate in either a 12-week Music and Movement for Health programme or control. We will assess the feasibility and success of these recruitment strategies by reporting recruitment rates, retention rates and participation in the programme.

Results: Both the TECs and PPIs provided stakeholder-informed specification on inclusion/ exclusion criteria and recruitment pathways. This feedback was vital in strengthening our community-based approach as well as effecting change at the local level. The success of these strategies from phase 1 (March–June) are pending.

Discussion: Through engaging with relevant stakeholders, this research aims to strengthen community systems by embedding feasible, enjoyable, sustainable and cost-effective programmes for older adults to support community connection and enhance health and wellbeing. This will, in turn, reduce demands on the healthcare system.

Note: We would like to thank and acknowledge those who participated in the PPIs for their time and invaluable feedback.

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