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Research projects

Specialized Water Dance Intervention (SWAN) for people with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities

About this project

Project information

Project status

In progress 2018 - 2026


Lars-Olov Lundqvist

People with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities (PIMD) have a combination of severe intellectual disability, extensive physical impairment, sensory impairments, and medical health problems. There is, however, a lack of evidence-based physical and health-promoting interventions for people with PIMD. Specialized water dance intervention (SWAN) is a new yet not scientifically evaluated method developed to remedy this. This paper reports a protocol for an intervention study with the aim to evaluate SWAN with regard to its effects on physiological, psychological, and social health related outcome variable, cost effectiveness, and potential for implementation in health care. The evaluation of SWAN is performed in a multi-centre randomized crossover study. Data is collected through cortisol measurement, physiological assessments, proxy ratings, video observations, and interviews. This is the first attempt to evaluate rigorously an innovative intervention for people with PIMD, a group that rarely is considered for health promotion interventions. This study will provide important information about the efficacy, cost effectiveness, and potential to implement SWAN in health care.

Research funding bodies

  • Regional Research Council Mid Sweden


  • André Frank, Region Örebro Län
  • Högskolan i Gävle
  • Patrik Arvidsson, Vuxenhabiliteringen, Region Gävleborg