ImprovED: Improvisation Engagement for the prevention of Dementia

Improving brain health and social engagement in older adults using drama activities: ImprovED study 

About the trial

Researchers at Neuroscience Research Australia are piloting a new program which aims to use improvisational theatre techniques to support brain health and well-being in older adults.

Improvisation theatre or improv” involves drama style games” performed in small groups which include aspects of movement, emotional expression, and social engagement. The Improvisation Engagement to prevent Dementia (ImprovED) study is a pilot program funded by the Australian Association of Gerontology which has been developed in collaboration with Improv Theatre Sydney

Lead investigator Dr Nikki-Anne Wilson says, Recent years have seen a significant increase in our understanding of the benefits of participating in the creative arts for brain health, including music and dance. Improv-based activities offer an exciting alternative which may bring unique benefits not captured by other programs.” 

How to take part

Participation in the research study includes taking part in two 2‑hour workshops at NeuRA and a brief follow up online survey to gather participant feedback. Feedback from this study will help in the ongoing development of the program and its implementation.

One of the benefits of improv is that it’s delivered in such a supportive environment,” Dr Wilson says, the foundational principle of improv is that there are no mistakes so it gives everyone the chance to express themselves and connect with others in a non-judgemental group setting – all, we hope, while having fun!”

Dr Wilson is currently looking for people to take part in ImprovED to be conducted in late Jan 2024 (TBC). If you are aged 60+, speak English, have not been diagnosed with a neurological disease, and have sufficient mobility to take part in low-impact activities email email hidden; JavaScript is required to express your interest!

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