Museum object handling groups in older adult mental health inpatient care

Solway, R., Thomas, L., Camic, Paul M. and Chaterjee, H.J. (2015) Museum object handling groups in older adult mental health inpatient care. International Journal of Mental Health Promotion, 17 (4). pp. 201-214. ISSN 1462-3730.

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Emerging evidence indicates that museum object handling sessions offer short-term benefits to healthcare participants. This study aimed to further understand psychological and social aspects of object handling in mental health inpatients. Older adults (N ¼ 42) from a psychiatric inpatient ward with diagnoses of depression or anxiety took part in a series of object handling group sessions with 5–12 participants per group. Session audio recordings were subjected to thematic analysis. Five main themes were identified: ‘responding to object focused questions’, ‘learning about objects and from each other’, ‘enjoyment, enrichment through touch and privilege’, ‘memories, personal associations and identity’ and ‘imagination and storytelling’. The first four were congruent with literature associated with positive wellbeing and engagement outcomes but the fifth was a new finding for group contexts. Limitations include the relatively small sample and variable week-to-week group attendance. Audio recordings did not provide information on non-verbal communication and how objects were handled. Future studies should control for attendance and examine effects of multiple sessions over time, ideally with video recording. This study offers preliminary support for museum object handling as a group intervention in mental health care with potential to develop therapeutic aspects of the sessions. Findings indicate that object handling is a novel yet effective intervention with potential for conferring additional advantages by conducting sessions in group settings.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: N Fine Arts > N Visual arts > N0400 Art museums, galleries, etc.
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine > RA0790 Mental health services. Mental illness prevention
Divisions: Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > School of Psychology, Politics and Sociology
Depositing User: Prof Paul M Camic
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2015 16:53
Last Modified: 21 Sep 2016 16:45

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