Changing Minds - An Evidence Review of the Impact of Participatory Arts on Older People

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Isabella Goldie, Head of Scotland – Mental Health Foundation and Amy Woodhouse Project Manager/Researcher. Presentation given at Alzheimer Scotland Conference: Creativity and dementia - policy and practice; June 2012, Glasgow

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  • Reference the relevant section of Keep Well
  • Reference the relevant section of Keep Well
  • Reference the relevant section of Keep Well
  • Music programmes – drum circle and
  • Changing Minds - An Evidence Review of the Impact of Participatory Arts on Older People

    1. 1. An Evidence Review of the Impact of Participatory Arts on Older PeopleIsabella Goldie Amy WoodhouseHead of Scotland – MHF Project Manager/Researcher
    2. 2. • MHF have a long standing interest in the potential of the arts to improve mental health.• Previous programmes of work includes: Art Therapies research (2003); Participatory Arts evaluation (2007); Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival (2007 - )• In 2011 MHF were commissioned by the Baring Foundation to undertake a review of Participatory Arts to better understand the impact on older people• Baring Foundation have a long standing interest in the potential of the arts and have focused more recently on older people including the production of Ageing Artfully Report which mapped out Participatory Arts activity across the UK and made recommendations for strengthening this work.3
    3. 3. what we wanted to achieve … 5
    4. 4. Study Aims • To capture the growing evidence base and raise awareness of the impacts of participatory arts on health and well being of older people • To provide evidence to funders, commissioners and service providers about the benefits • To support arts organisations to their improve practice
    5. 5. we asked …‘in what ways does participating in artimpact on the wellbeing of olderpeople and the ways in which olderpeople are perceived in theircommunities, and by society ingeneral?’ 7
    6. 6. how we went about it … 8
    7. 7. Inclusion criteria* Participatory art: professional artists collaborate with people to create artistic works that express participant’s experiences, outlook and community context*Adults over 60 years of age*Peer reviewed and grey literature in English within last ten years 9
    8. 8. Excluded literature* Art therapies* Audience participation* Listening to music / background music* Dance based exercise for older adults 10
    9. 9. Step-wise approachStep 1 Search for high quality reviews (id gaps) Step 2 Search for primary studies (id gaps) Step 3 Search for other evidence (grey literature) Step 4 Map the evidence into categories and select best quality and most recent studies for inclusion. 11
    10. 10. what we found…. 12
    11. 11. Overview of included studies 31 relevant studies (24 peer reviewed) 7 Music, 7 singing Most (n=29) about 14 studies include 5 drama, 5 visual, individual mental community impact 4 dance, 1 festivals and physical Some explore arts1 storytelling,1 mixed impacts mediating impact 6 dementia studies
    12. 12. Dementia Studies• Two music programmes (Martin 2004, Sixsmith 2007)• Two visual arts programmes (Brownell 2008, Kinney 2005)• One drama programme (Lapp 2003)• One storytelling programme (Phillips 2010) 14
    13. 13. Impact of Participatory Arts Individual Community Societal
    14. 14. Impact - individual level “Drum circles are a bonding experience. It gets you in your very soul. It is a really spiritual experience. It brings you up and out of yourself like a bird or eagle soaring above.” (participant, Martin 2004) – Enhanced communication opportunities – Equality amongst participants regardless of degree of impairment – Improved mood and self esteem, reduced anxiety – Memory stimulation 16
    15. 15. Impact – community level “I think we have better contact now after the programme. We wink to each other and sing even more and give signs to each other” (caregiver, Lepp 2003) – Meaningful social contact between participants and with family, carers and staff – Improved carer relationships for those with dementia – Addresses dementia discrimination by raising awareness and expectations and reduces stigmatising attitudes
    16. 16. Impact - societal level• Contributes towards challenging external stigma towards ageing and dementia• Challenges self stigma by providing opportunities to create something of worth• Brings people together on an equal footing
    17. 17. Key issues We need to support engagement by: • actively facilitating initial and sustained engagement • tailoring activities to abilities (but not accepting that dementia limits creativity) • Pleasure and fulfilment in the moment as an impact is equally important as a quality of life measure as impact after the moment 19
    18. 18. what does this mean? …. 20
    19. 19. Implications for health and social careproviders• Participative arts should be readily available for all those with dementia, including those with severe levels of impairment• Nursing and care home staff would benefit from training to help them deliver arts activities for people with dementia
    20. 20. Implications for participatory artsorganisations• Actively facilitate engagement of people with dementia• Build in flexible approaches• Challenge low expectations and an over- emphasis on the limitations of dementia regarding ability to participate and create• Build links with local organisations and networks representing and supporting people with dementia
    21. 21. Implications for funders andcommissioners• Proactivity in required to include people with dementia in arts based funding programmes• Ensure arts projects have the capacity to evaluate, learn and improve – don’t just fund the art, fund the longer-term development of projects• Support sustainability
    22. 22. Further research• Weak evidence base – reflective of lack of investment in older people in general?• If participatory art for people with dementia is to be credible as an approach we need to know more about what works: – Larger samples – joint/cross project evaluations? – More detail on role of professional artists – Where, how, access strategies, target groups, funding sources, sustainability, partnership with/support from other professionals / organisations – Importance of artistic output versus process
    23. 23. Further informationReport downloadable from:www.mentalhealth.org.ukContact:Isabella Goldie / Amy Woodhouseigoldie@mhf.org.uk / awoodhouse@mhf.org.uk25
    24. 24. ~A very special thanks toBaring Foundation whosupported this review
    25. 25. Isabella Goldie & Amy WoodhouseMental Health Foundation

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