Museum activities in dementia care: using visual analog scales to measure subjective wellbeing

Johnson, Joana, Culverwell, A., Hulbert, S., Roberton, M. and Camic, Paul M. (2015) Museum activities in dementia care: using visual analog scales to measure subjective wellbeing. Dementia: The International Journal for Social Research and Practice. ISSN 1471-3012.

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Introduction: Previous research has shown that people with dementia and caregivers derive wellbeing-related benefits from viewing art in a group, and that facilitated museum object handling is effective in increasing subjective wellbeing for people with a range of health conditions. The present study quantitatively compared the impact of two museum-based activities and a social activity on the subjective wellbeing of people with dementia and their caregivers.

Methods: A quasi-experimental crossover design was used. People with early to middle stage dementia and caregivers (N = 66) participated in museum object handling, a refreshment break and art-viewing in small groups. Visual analogue scales were used to rate subjective wellbeing pre and post each activity.

Results: Mixed-design ANOVAs indicated wellbeing significantly increased during the session, irrespective of the order in which the activities were presented. Wellbeing significantly increased from object-handling and art-viewing for those with dementia and caregivers across pooled orders, but did not in the social activity of a refreshment break. An end-of-intervention questionnaire indicated that experiences of the session were positive.

Conclusion: Results provide a rationale for considering museum activities as part of a broader psychosocial, relational approach to dementia care and support the use of easy to administer visual analogue scales as a quantitative outcome measure. Further partnership working is also supported between museums and healthcare professionals in the development of non-clinical, community-based programmes for this population.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Arts and health; dementia care; museums; art galleries
Subjects: A General Works > AM Museums (General). Collectors and collecting (General) > AM0111 Museology. Museum methods, technique, etc.
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF0076.5 Psychology research
N Fine Arts > N Visual arts > N0400 Art museums, galleries, etc.
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0435 Psychiatry > RC0512 Psychopathology. Mental disorders > RC0521 Dementia
Divisions: Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > School of Psychology, Politics and Sociology > Salomons Centre for Applied Psychology
Depositing User: Prof Paul M Camic
Date Deposited: 23 Oct 2015 13:35
Last Modified: 21 Jan 2016 23:20

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00