The Arts as a Medium for Care and Self-Care in Dementia: Arguments and Evidence
2. Defining and Differentiating Arts Interventions
2.1. Intervention Level
2.2. Severity of Dementia
2.4. Visual Art
3. Discussion: A Rationale for the Arts in Dementia Care and Self-Care
- People with dementia usually enjoy participating in art, whether actively creating art or as an appreciative audience.
- The arts can remain accessible despite memory loss because of their multi-sensory nature and the possibility of experiencing art in the moment irrespective of prior knowledge or associations.
- Carers—both professional and family supporters—get double benefit from arts interventions; their own enjoyment as participants, and that of seeing their charges enlivened or soothed.
- The wider community benefits from the fostering of cultural capital in any segment of society, including older people with dementia.
- Art does little harm, indeed it often fosters social interaction and a sense of belonging.
3.1. Art Presents Challenges to Research Methodology
3.2. Comparing Arts Interventions
- For what purpose? Is the arts activity an end in itself or a means to change of some kind? This might include influencing the general public e.g., de-stigmatisation.
- For each level at which the intervention operated, what are the outcomes of interest?
- What is the role of the person with dementia? If actively participating, how much and with what support?
- Who else is involved and how?
Conflicts of Interest
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|Aspect||Results of Review|
|Intervention||39 visual art, 53 music, 3 drama (1 including dance), 2 poetry, 15 combination|
|Study design||49 case studies, 46 quasi-experimental studies, 14 randomised controlled trials, 3 descriptive studies|
|Methodology||50 quantitative, 49 qualitative, 13 both|
|Number of participants||1699 people with dementia, 403 paid carers, 94 care partners|
|Duration of intervention||Ranged from 10 minutes to 3 years|
|Length of follow-up||Ranged from none to 24 weeks|
|Name||MOMA *||Alive Inside||Smile|
|Modality||Viewing art and discussing it in a group||Listening to music||Dance and movement|
|1||What is the purpose?||To generate group discussion, emotional responses, associations, cognitive activity||To improve mood and social engagement||To develop and demonstrate skills, co-create, perform, communicate|
|2||At what level is change intended?||Individual and caring relationship||Individual and caring relationship||Individual and (potentially) caring relationship|
|3||People with how much impairment are shown to benefit?||Mild to moderate||High||Mild to moderate|
|4||What outcomes are apparent in the video?||Pleasure|
|5||What is the role of the person with dementia?||Active participant in a process designed to be intellectually and emotionally stimulating||Passive recipient of technologically-based intervention||Active participant in physically and intellectually demanding exercise|
|6||Who is delivering the activity?||A fine art expert, probably withpreparation regarding dementia||A social worker or similar support worker or volunteer||A dance professional with extensive experience, aided by other dancers|
|7||Who else is involved and how?||Carers and other people with dementia||Carers and family members||Dancers and other people with dementia|
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Schneider, J. The Arts as a Medium for Care and Self-Care in Dementia: Arguments and Evidence. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 1151. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15061151
Schneider J. The Arts as a Medium for Care and Self-Care in Dementia: Arguments and Evidence. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2018; 15(6):1151. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15061151Chicago/Turabian Style
Schneider, Justine. 2018. "The Arts as a Medium for Care and Self-Care in Dementia: Arguments and Evidence" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 15, no. 6: 1151. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15061151