Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Scientific Reports





PubMed ID





School of Medical and Health Sciences


Regional Research Council in the Uppsala–Örebro Region / Research Committee of Region Örebro County / Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation Grant #9706


Lundqvist, L. O., Matérne, M., Frank, A., Mörelius, E., & Duberg, A. (2022). Salivary cortisol levels and stress in adults with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities participating in the Structured Water Dance Intervention: A randomised controlled crossover trial. Scientific Reports, 12, Article 17418.


The Structured Water Dance Intervention (SWAN) is a dance-oriented aquatic group activity directed to give opportunities for the joy of movement, relaxation, and reduced stress. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of SWAN on salivary cortisol and stress in adults with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities (PIMD). A total of 34 adults with PIMD at four habilitation centres in Sweden completed the SWAN intervention. The intervention was administered for 40 min once a week during a 12-week period. Saliva cortisol was collected in the morning and evening at baseline one week before the intervention, thrice during the intervention period, and one week after the intervention. Moreover, in connection with the SWAN sessions, the participants’ level of stress was also assessed by the accompanying assistants. The results showed that salivary cortisol and participants stress decreased significantly, directly after the SWAN sessions compared with measures directly before sessions. The study demonstrates that adults with PIMD have diurnal salivary cortisol patterns consistent with those observed in adults without disability and that the SWAN reduces salivary cortisol levels and stress in people with PIMD; this justifies that SWAN could be considered in the choice of interventions to reduce stress in adults with PIMD. Trial registration: This study is registered 09/04/2019 on (ID: NCT03908801).



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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.