Article

New roles for art galleries: Art-viewing as a community intervention for family carers of people with mental health problems

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Abstract

Objective: This study aimed to understand the psychological and social aspects of how art-viewing, in a public art gallery, could be used as an activity to support family carers of people with mental health problems. Methods: Using grounded theory methodology, interviews from eight carer-participants and two facilitator-participants were analysed, along with podcasts created from audio-recordings of the gallery sessions. Results: Art-viewing was conceptualised as an experience that engaged carers on emotional, aesthetic and educational levels. Psychological processes such as mentalising, reflexivity and externalising were identified in the responses stimulated by art-viewing. Conclusions: The findings suggest that art-viewing in a group within a gallery setting has the potential to be used more widely as a community-based, low-cost and non-clinical activity to provide social and psychological support for carers of people with mental-health problems.

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... The total number of participants in each intervention group differed, with fewer than ten participants per intervention group in seven studies (Pienaar and Reynolds, 2015;Johnson et al., 2017;Baker and Yeates, 2018;Clark et al., 2020;García-Valverde et al., 2020;Leung et al., 2019), 10-20 participants per intervention group in seven studies (Roberts et al., 2011;Camic et al., 2014Camic et al., , 2016Wharton et al., 2019;Mondro et al., 2020;Hendriks et al., 2019;Lee et al., 2020) and more than 20 participants per intervention group in six studies (Osman et al., 2016;Clark et al., 2018;Mittelman et al., 2018;Tamplin et al., 2018Tamplin et al., , 2020Jicha et al., 2019). The total number of participants per intervention group was not reported in five studies (Fancourt et al., 2016(Fancourt et al., , 2019Burnside et al., 2017;Unadkat et al., 2017;Skingley et al., 2021). ...
... In addition, the intervention and the outcome measures were delivered by the same researcher in several studies (Osman et al., 2016;Tamplin et al., 2018), or were not declared. Four studies measured outcomes after only one session (Roberts et al., 2011;Fancourt et al., 2016;Johnson et al., 2017;Hendriks et al., 2019). Risk of bias due to small participant numbers was present in those studies using thematic analyses (Roberts et al., 2011;Pienaar and Reynolds, 2015;Clark et al., 2018;Lee et al., 2020). ...
... Four studies measured outcomes after only one session (Roberts et al., 2011;Fancourt et al., 2016;Johnson et al., 2017;Hendriks et al., 2019). Risk of bias due to small participant numbers was present in those studies using thematic analyses (Roberts et al., 2011;Pienaar and Reynolds, 2015;Clark et al., 2018;Lee et al., 2020). Four studies included a control arm in Activities of daily living 2 Anxiety 6 (trait anxiety), 12 5 1 , 6 (state anxiety) ...
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Informal care-givers play an important role, with health-care systems relying on the billions of hours of care they provide. Care-givers experience high levels of psychological distress and isolation; however, the efficacy of what support is the best for care-givers is unclear. The primary aim of this systematic review is to determine the effect of group creative arts interventions on informal care-givers of adults. The secondary aim is to understand the impact of group type, the primary outcomes and how they are measured. Given the heterogeneous nature of the included studies, a narrative synthesis approach was taken. Database searches identified 2,587 studies, 25 of which met the full inclusion criteria. Studies included group creative arts interventions for either care-givers only (N = 8) or for care-giver/cared-for dyads (N = 17). The majority of the participants in the studies were older Caucasian females. Group creative arts interventions are beneficial for care-givers and for the person being cared for; however, benefits differ depending on whether the group is for care-givers only or for care-giver/ cared-for dyads. Future research will benefit from care-givers being involved in the design of the creative arts intervention to provide input regarding group type and relevant outcome measures. Future research should consider targeting their intervention to care-givers with a low baseline score to increase the ability of the study to demonstrate a significant difference.
... Among the various effects, empirical evidence has shown that on-site art interactions have been particularly associated with decreased loneliness (Todd et al., 2017;Tymoszuk et al., 2019Tymoszuk et al., , 2020, improved mental health (symptoms of anxiety and depression; Clayton & Potter, 2017;Hansen et al., 2015;Roberts et al., 2011), and increased mood and subjective wellbeing (Bennington et al., 2016;Binnie, 2010;Davies et al., 2016;Hansen et al., 2015;Ho et al., 2015;Karnik et al., 2014;Roberts et al., 2011;Wang et al., 2020). For example, similar to the interventions that will be explored in this paper, Clow and Fredhoi (2006) asked individuals to take a 35-minute visit to an art gallery on their lunch break and found that even short exposures lead to significantly lower self-reported stress (~2.4 points on a pre-/post-visit 10-point scale) and cortisol concentrations (see Binnie, 2010;Ho et al., 2015 for similar examples using pre-post assessments). ...
... Among the various effects, empirical evidence has shown that on-site art interactions have been particularly associated with decreased loneliness (Todd et al., 2017;Tymoszuk et al., 2019Tymoszuk et al., , 2020, improved mental health (symptoms of anxiety and depression; Clayton & Potter, 2017;Hansen et al., 2015;Roberts et al., 2011), and increased mood and subjective wellbeing (Bennington et al., 2016;Binnie, 2010;Davies et al., 2016;Hansen et al., 2015;Ho et al., 2015;Karnik et al., 2014;Roberts et al., 2011;Wang et al., 2020). For example, similar to the interventions that will be explored in this paper, Clow and Fredhoi (2006) asked individuals to take a 35-minute visit to an art gallery on their lunch break and found that even short exposures lead to significantly lower self-reported stress (~2.4 points on a pre-/post-visit 10-point scale) and cortisol concentrations (see Binnie, 2010;Ho et al., 2015 for similar examples using pre-post assessments). ...
... However, they have been suggested to involve enjoyable or pleasurable experiences (Chatterjee & Noble, 2017;Sachs et al., 2015), which might improve aspects of subjective wellbeing by regulating mood. They may be tied to shared social, communal factors (Cuypers et al., 2012;Roberts et al., 2011), escapism or removal from daily routine (see Kaplan, 1995), or even experiences of beauty as part of an aesthetic experience (Fancourt & Finn, 2019;Mastandrea et al., 2019). ...
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When experienced in-person, engagement with art has been associated—in a growing body of evidence—with positive outcomes in wellbeing and mental health. This represents an exciting new field for psychology, curation, and health interventions, suggesting a widely-accessible, cost-effective, and non-pharmaceutical means of regulating factors such as mood or anxiety. However, can similar impacts be found with online presentations? If so, this would open up positive outcomes to an even-wider population—a trend becoming accelerated due to the current Covid-19 pandemic. Despite its promise, this question, and the underlying mechanisms of art interventions and impacts, has largely not been explored. Participants (N = 84) were asked to engage one of two online exhibitions from Google Arts and Culture (a Monet painting or a similarly-formatted display of Japanese culinary traditions). With just 1-2 minutes’ exposure, both improved negative mood, state-anxiety, loneliness, and wellbeing. Stepdown analysis suggested the changes can be explained primarily via negative mood, while improvements in mood correlated with aesthetic appraisals and cognitive-emotional experience of the exhibition. However, no difference was found between exhibitions. We discuss the findings in terms of applications and targets for future research.
... Several studies (e.g. MLA Renaissance North West, 2011; Roberts, Camic, & Springham, 2011;Wood, 2007) have demonstrated an impact on mental health (MH) and well-being, including increased confidence and self-esteem, by providing new experiences. For example, adult MH service-users in Manchester Museum's "Health Rocks" used geological specimens as inspiration for creating handmade books; and the Whitworth Art Gallery working with Manchester Hospitals Schools Service set up "Creativity and the Curriculum" using the gallery's handling resources as the basis for creative activities with vulnerable young people (MLA Renaissance North West, 2011). ...
... For example, adult MH service-users in Manchester Museum's "Health Rocks" used geological specimens as inspiration for creating handmade books; and the Whitworth Art Gallery working with Manchester Hospitals Schools Service set up "Creativity and the Curriculum" using the gallery's handling resources as the basis for creative activities with vulnerable young people (MLA Renaissance North West, 2011). Gallery studies have demonstrated the therapeutic role of viewing art in supporting family carers of people with chronic mental ill health (Roberts et al., 2011) and communityinterventions for people with dementia (Eekelaar et al. 2012;Rosenberg, Parsa, Humble, & McGee, 2009). ...
... Qualitative data derived from project end feedback complemented the quantitative results, supporting the hypothesis of improvement of the three measures at the end of the programme. Findings supported previous research (Griffiths, 2008;Reynolds, 2000;Roberts et al., 2011;Wood, 2007) in that creative and museum activities helped to develop participant confidence, although previous research was not carried out specifically with MH and AR groups. The qualitative feedback around well-being recorded positive emotional responses, a finding that supported other research. ...
Article
Background: The study examined the effects of museum outreach sessions on confidence, sociability and well-being measures for mental health (n = 85) and addiction recovery (n = 59) service-users taking an asset-based approach and research design. Method: Both groups participated in weekly outreach sessions combining object handling and museum visits with arts and craft activities. Using mixed methods, measures of confidence, sociability and well-being were evaluated quantitatively through a “ladder of change” model of steps towards independence and feedback was analysed qualitatively. Results: Comparison of scores from first, mid- and last sessions showed increases across all measures. Qualitative analysis revealed additional gains including pride, learning and skills, and creativity. Findings were interpreted in terms of social capital, independence and resilience. Conclusions: Creative museum activities showed increases in participant levels of confidence, sociability and well-being. The study highlighted the potential of asset-based approaches augmenting research on the value of museum activities to health and well-being
... Participants thought they only rarely expressed feelings about caregiving through their artwork, a finding that contrasts with that of Roberts et al. (2011), whose participants were caring for family members with mental health problems. Roberts et al. found that carers of people with mental health problems tended to interpret the artwork on display in an art gallery through the lens of their caregiving experiences (e.g. ...
... Instead, it appears that the participants created their artwork primarily for pleasure rather than as a form of therapy. Roberts et al. (2011) also described the gallery experience as offering carers a bridge into new occupations unrelated to mental health settings, and the caregiving role. Some of the caregivers in this study also expressed a desire to continue with their newfound creative leisure occupation but acknowledged substantial barriers unless suitable alternative care for their loved ones was provided. ...
... There was no evidence that facilitators set any ground rules preventing the airing of problems. Similar feedback was elicited by Roberts et al. (2011) in their art gallery intervention for carers of people with mental health problems. The motivating and supportive functions of the group and the tutors (or group facilitators) in community art interventions have been noted in other studies (e.g. ...
Article
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This study explored the meanings of participating in a 5-week creative arts leisure programme designed for family caregivers of people with dementia, using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Eight carers attended and four who met the eligibility criteria agreed to be interviewed. Participants experienced the arts group as providing a sense of freedom and respite, strengthening identity through promoting achievement, offering social support through a collective focus on art- and craft-making and increasing resilience for coping with caring. Some found the 5-week programme too short. Benefits were linked to the security of knowing that loved ones with dementia were close by, being well cared for. Further research is needed into the long-term benefits of creative arts groups for promoting carer well-being.
... In some cases, well-being may also help to buffer against ill-being, but it should not be thought of only in those terms. Beyond merely buffering against ill-being, art museum engagement has been associated with improving several well-being related factors, including raising subjective wellbeing (D'Cunha et al., 2019;Grossi et al., 2019), greater perceived quality of life (Michalos & Kahlke, 2010;Schall et al., 2018), enhancing emotional well-being (Camic et al., 2016;Herron & Jamieson, 2020;Roberts et al., 2011;Thomson et al., 2018), and increasing feelings of social connection (Herron & Jamieson, 2020;Roberts et al., 2011). ...
... In some cases, well-being may also help to buffer against ill-being, but it should not be thought of only in those terms. Beyond merely buffering against ill-being, art museum engagement has been associated with improving several well-being related factors, including raising subjective wellbeing (D'Cunha et al., 2019;Grossi et al., 2019), greater perceived quality of life (Michalos & Kahlke, 2010;Schall et al., 2018), enhancing emotional well-being (Camic et al., 2016;Herron & Jamieson, 2020;Roberts et al., 2011;Thomson et al., 2018), and increasing feelings of social connection (Herron & Jamieson, 2020;Roberts et al., 2011). ...
... Prior research on how art museum engagement may impact visitor flourishing has tended to focus on a few outcomes, including the ability of art museums to promote social connection and to reduce loneliness. Art museum visitation is related to higher levels of social inclusion (Herron & Jamieson, 2020), lower levels of social disconnect (Koebner et al., 2019), and feeling the ability to connect with others (Roberts et al., 2011). Further, specific programs (e.g., Bennington et al., 2016;Dodd & Jones, 2014;Flatt et al., 2015;Roe et al., 2016;Rosenberg et al., 2009) have endeavored to promote social connection and reduce loneliness, particularly in older adults. ...
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People visit art museums for many reasons—to see something beautiful or famous, to learn more about art, or to experience a sense of awe. Recently, there has been increased interest in how art museum engagement can promote flourishing. Little is known, however, how the professionals shaping these art museum experiences (e.g., curators, educators, front of house staff) view art museums as institutions that can promote flourishing outcomes. In the present research, we examined the perceptions of 208 art museum professionals regarding the aims of art museums and ability of art museums to impact both well-being (e.g., empathy, self-acceptance) and ill-being (e.g., anxiety, loneliness) factors. The findings suggest that art museum professionals feel that the well-being of visitors should be emphasized as a goal more strongly than it currently is, and that there are some well-being and ill-being components (e.g., empathy, helping, closed-mindedness) that should receive greater attention than others.
... This type of sustained engagement with institutions like art museums over the life span is associated with feeling less lonely and having greater levels of eudaimonic wellbeing (Todd et al., 2017;Tymoszuk et al., 2019Tymoszuk et al., , 2020. Further, participation in arts and cultural leisure activities was associated in cross-sectional studies with greater life-satisfaction, and mental health in a cohort of 8200 Norwegian adolescents (symptoms of anxiety and depression; Roberts et al., 2011;Hansen et al., 2015;Clayton and Potter, 2017). In many studies, the impact on mood and subjective wellbeing has also been illustrated. ...
... Similar studies of art in patient or common rooms have been found to improve the anxiety, stress levels, depression, mood, and general wellbeing of both patients and staff. Further, the addition of a contemporary art gallery or bringing art to the patient's bedside in a hospital, allows staff, patients and family members the ability to access art in difficult times and can lead to better mood and subjective wellbeing (Binnie, 2010;Roberts et al., 2011;Karnik et al., 2014;Hansen et al., 2015;Ho et al., 2015;Bennington et al., 2016;Davies et al., 2016;Wang et al., 2020). In regard to stress and anxiety, similar to the interventions that will be explored in this paper, Clow and Fredhoi (2006) asked individuals to take a 35-min visit to an art gallery on their lunch break and found that even short exposures lead to significantly lower self-reported stress (∼2.4 points on a pre-/post-visit 10-point scale) and cortisol concentrations. ...
... If this were the case, one might expect that the more enjoyable the experience with art is, the better improvement to aspects of wellbeing. They may be tied to shared social, communal factors (Roberts et al., 2011;Cuypers et al., 2012), escapism or removal from daily routine (see Kaplan, 1995), or even experiences of beauty as part of an aesthetic experience (Fancourt and Finn, 2019;Mastandrea et al., 2019). However, such aspects have received little attention systematically and need further research to examine which parts of art experiences are particularly important to impact wellbeing. ...
Article
Full-text available
When experienced in-person, engagement with art has been associated—in a growing body of evidence—with positive outcomes in wellbeing and mental health. This represents an exciting new field for psychology, curation, and health interventions, suggesting a widely-accessible, cost-effective, and non-pharmaceutical means of regulating factors such as mood or anxiety. However, can similar impacts be found with online presentations? If so, this would open up positive outcomes to an even-wider population—a trend accelerating due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Despite its promise, this question, and the underlying mechanisms of art interventions and impacts, has largely not been explored. Participants (N = 84) were asked to engage with one of two online exhibitions from Google Arts and Culture (a Monet painting or a similarly-formatted display of Japanese culinary traditions). With just 1–2 min exposure, both improved negative mood, state-anxiety, loneliness, and wellbeing. Stepdown analysis suggested the changes can be explained primarily via negative mood, while improvements in mood correlated with aesthetic appraisals and cognitive-emotional experience of the exhibition. However, no difference was found between exhibitions. We discuss the findings in terms of applications and targets for future research.
... The study did not aim to determine a causal link between the art gallery intervention and PWD's cognitive functioning. The intervention took place during usual opening hours in a well-known London art gallery that specializes in 17th-and 18th- century European painting and comprised two elements: art viewing and art making, which builds on the structure of gallery-based interventions from previous studies (Shaer et al., 2008; Roberts et al., 2011). Art viewing consisted of a 30-min discussion of specific paintings in the gallery facilitated by an art educator. ...
... A reduced feeling of isolation has been an outcome in previous art-gallery projects (e.g., Rosenberg, 2009; Roberts et al., 2011). Not only did participants in the current study report the importance of meeting others with similar experiences to them, there was also a sense of feeling less remote from the wider community and more connected to the outside world. ...
Article
Aesthetic responses associated with viewing visual art have recently been shown to have positive effects for people with dementia. The current exploratory study investigated how structured viewing of paintings in a public art gallery, followed by an art-making visual response, might affect cognition. Through a novel use of audio recordings and content analysis, utilizing a mixed-methods pre-post design with 4-week follow-up, the study sought to explore if art viewing and art making, in an art gallery setting, had an impact on episodic memory and verbal fluency. The findings suggested that episodic memory could be enhanced through aesthetic responses to visual art, although effects on verbal fluency were more ambiguous. Family caregivers (FC), who were also part of the study, substantiated these findings but also reported that their family member with dementia showed improved mood, confidence, and reduced isolation during the art gallery sessions. The results support the need for additional research to further investigate the potential positive impact of visual art and aesthetic stimulation on people with a dementia.
... While this has been predominantly reported from the AT's perspective, service user views are increasingly being integrated into art therapy research. This fits a call for a broader, multiple-research paradigm for mental health research which encompasses both provider and user evidence (Norcross, 2002;Rose, Thornicroft, & Slade, 2006). Given the centrality of art therapy dialogue between user and provider in co-producing the practice of art therapy, this approach offers much potential for building its theory. ...
... IP participants rated the experience of the project at follow-up as highly positive (Roberts, Camic, & Springham, 2011). The high level of personal benefit they reported was the first alert that this process may have other potentials beyond merely conveying public health information. ...
Article
Full-text available
This paper outlines the development to date of two art therapy practice research tools: the audio-image recording (AIR) format and an art-based semi-structured interview entitled Reflect Interview. These aim to capture service user views of what changes, and what mechanisms cause change, in the art therapy they have received. A feasibility study was undertaken to establish whether these tools could be used to build credible data sets across multiple sites and populations. Results indicate this is possible if the data collection period is longer than six months. The authors argue that results indicate the tools have high respondent validity, are unobtrusive to administer in naturalistic settings and offer a novel contribution to art therapy research from within its practice.
... As evidence suggests that the wellbeing of many people in caregiving roles may be adversely affected, it is highly pertinent to offer psychosocial support for caregivers as well as the people they care for (Department of Health, 2008). Previous research has suggested that art gallery-based interventions can provide social and psychological support to caregivers in ways different from traditional support groups (Roberts, Camic, & Springham, 2011). Focusing on residual abilities and meaningful activities may help to offset a sense of loss for both the person with dementia and the caregiver, and can potentially help throughout the course of illness. ...
... Rosenberg, 2009). Previous research has also indicated that the intervention site was deemed to be an important aspect to participants Roberts et al., 2011). Yet, as popular as artbased interventions have become for this population, thus far there remained limited evidence to refute that psychological benefits obtained could not be attributed to group or social factors. ...
Article
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.
... While this has been predominantly reported from the AT's perspective, service user views are increasingly being integrated into art therapy research. This fits a call for a broader, multiple-research paradigm for mental health research which encompasses both provider and user evidence (Norcross, 2002;Rose, Thornicroft, & Slade, 2006). Given the centrality of art therapy dialogue between user and provider in co-producing the practice of art therapy, this approach offers much potential for building its theory. ...
... IP participants rated the experience of the project at follow-up as highly positive (Roberts, Camic, & Springham, 2011). The high level of personal benefit they reported was the first alert that this process may have other potentials beyond merely conveying public health information. ...
Article
Full-text available
This paper outlines the development to date of two art therapy practice research tools: the Audio-Image Recording (AIR) format and an art-based semi-structured interview entitled Reflect Interview. These aim to capture service user views of what changes, and what mechanisms cause change in the art therapy they have received. A feasibility study was undertaken to establish whether these tools could be used to build credible data sets across multiple sites and populations. Results indicate this is possible if the data collection period is longer than six months. The authors argue that results indicate the tools have high respondent validity, are unobtrusive to administer in naturalistic settings and offer a novel contribution to art therapy research from within art therapy dialogue.
... The first randomised controlled trial of community singing for a broad cross section of older people (60+) living independently has recently been completed (Coulton, Clift, Skingley, & Rodriguez, 2015;Skingley, Martin, & Clift, 2015). Engagement with visual arts and museum/gallery-based community research with young people, and working-age adults, older adults and those with dementia have all demonstrated benefits (Alcock, Camic, & Barker, 2011;Camic, 2008Camic, , 2010Roberts & Camic, 2011;young, Camic, & Tischler, 2015). Research with new mothers and older women has also explored life transitions and wellbeing though arts engagement (Hogan, 2015b;Hogan, Baker, Cornish, McCloskey, & Watts, 2015;Hogan & Warren, 2012, Downloaded by [86.156.105.103] at 09:09 10 May 2016 2013). ...
Article
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An account is provided of a UK national seminar series on Arts, Health and Wellbeing funded by the Economic and Social Research Council during 2012–13. Four seminars were organised addressing current issues and challenges facing the field. Details of the programme and its outputs are available online. A central concern of the seminar programme was to provide a foundation for creating a UK national network for researchers in the field to help promote evidence-based policy and practice. With funding from Lankelly Chase Foundation, and the support of the Royal Society for Public Health, a Special interest Group for Arts, Health and Wellbeing was launched in 2015.
... The aim of grounded theory is the formation of overarching categories and, ultimately, the generation of an explanatory framework. A useful example of an arts and health project that has adopted grounded theory methods is the study by Roberts et al (2011) of the role of art-viewing as a community intervention for family carers of people with mental health problems. Constructivist grounded theory approach recognises the existence of multiple interpretations rather than trying to determine essential truths (Charmaz 2000). ...
... The first randomised controlled trial of community singing for a broad cross section of older people (60+) living independently has recently been completed (Coulton, Clift, Skingley, & Rodriguez, 2015;Skingley, Martin, & Clift, 2015). Engagement with visual arts and museum/gallery-based community research with young people, and working-age adults, older adults and those with dementia have all demonstrated benefits (Alcock, Camic, & Barker, 2011;Camic, 2008Camic, , 2010Roberts & Camic, 2011;young, Camic, & Tischler, 2015). Research with new mothers and older women has also explored life transitions and wellbeing though arts engagement (Hogan, 2015b;Hogan, Baker, Cornish, McCloskey, & Watts, 2015;Hogan & Warren, 2012, Downloaded by [86.132.118.129] at 12:56 23 May 2016 2013). ...
... This echoes and develops findings by other researchers, e.g. Secker, Spandler, Hacking, Kent, and Shenton (2007), Hacking et al. (2008), Roberts, Camic, and Springham (2011) and Colbert et al. (2013). ...
Article
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Background: The three year “Ways of Seeing” project was hosted by an award-winning museum and included adults with long-term diagnoses associated with mental health and physical impairments. The participants were involved throughout the project, preparing and curating artwork for a major public exhibition. Methods: Qualitative data were collected to explore meanings of the project from the perspective of participants, the project manager and the public, using interviews, participant observation and comment cards. Results: The project was successful in engaging the participants who had previously often felt excluded from mainstream art spaces. Findings about the benefits of arts participation echoed other studies but participants highlighted some difficulty with the ending of the project. Public perceptions were positive, acclaiming the thought-provoking quality of the exhibition. Interviews and participant observation revealed the importance of egalitarian leadership, mutual trust and the absence of any therapeutic agenda. Conclusion: Developing similar projects would offer opportunities to foster diverse artistic communities and empower people with experiences of disability and mental health conditions.
... One of the contributing factors to social isolation, however, appeared to be how participants judged others prior to attending; this is a complicated psychosocial phenomenon that was challenging for facilitators to address. Relational processes within museum programs can be facilitated through a range of activities including, for example, participatory arts ( Rose and Lonsdale, 2016), object handling ( Solway et al., 2016b), storytelling and reading ( ) and curatorial opportunities ( Roberts et al., 2011). ...
Article
This paper presents research findings that help to understand how museum programs created opportunities to enhance wellbeing and health, and changed experiences of social isolation in older adults. The research conceptualized how program elements enabled both individual experiences and relational processes to occur. These components operated within a context that was enriched by the museum as a place to support wellbeing and enhance social interaction. To meaningfully support socially isolated older people as part of local public health strategies, museums need to be accessible and engaging places that purposively support social interaction by involving people and objects, participating in multiple sessions over time, that are facilitated by skilled and knowledgeable staff.
... The vignettes demonstrate the characteristics of effective boundary objects because they are meaningful translations of the themes of lived experiences and emotions for the co-researchers (SAPSED & SALTER, 2004), and they will be instrumental in conveying such experiences while maintaining their identity across multiple boundaries (CASH & MOSER, 2000;STAR & GRIESEMER,1989). Artviewing is especially effective as a "bridge" for socially isolated groups and can generate greater understanding around an issue through helping people make connections (LINESCH, 2004), destabilizing preconceived notions (LEE, 2007), and normalizing lived experiences (ROBERTS et al., 2011). Through sharing the vignettes in multiple venues, the knowledge built through the (R)CoP will be able to enter the worlds of people diverse viewers (i.e., educators, policy makers, service providers, families, and a wide general audience) who may have varying understandings of youth's experiences living with anxiety. ...
Article
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In this article we outline the creation of boundary objects as just one of the means to communicate the results of the Youth's Voices research study that sought to understand young people's experiences of living with anxiety. Fifty-eight young people living with anxiety took part in open-ended interviews complemented by photovoice. As one knowledge translation strategy, themes emerging from the data were transformed into boundary objects of a series of video vignettes representing dance interpretations of the themes. The video vignettes revealed meaningful interpretations of the young people's experiences, creating the potential for enhanced empathy and understanding, and reduced stigma for young people living with anxiety. The creation of boundary objects affords the opportunity to communicate the experiences of young people living with anxiety to a wider audience of policy makers, health care practitioners, researchers, as well as the general community.
... 146). 13 Furthermore, the 'role and value of museums in contributing to wellbeing or wellness agendas' was seen to merit broader exploration to 'reflect on the fit with a wider healthcare landscape' of social prescribing and other key health priorities (p. 10). ...
Article
Aims: To assess psychological wellbeing in a novel social prescription intervention for older adults called Museums on Prescription and to explore the extent of change over time in six self-rated emotions ('absorbed', 'active', 'cheerful', 'encouraged', 'enlightened' and 'inspired'). Methods: Participants ( n = 115) aged 65-94 years were referred to museum-based programmes comprising 10 weekly sessions, by healthcare and third sector organisations using inclusion criteria (e.g. socially isolated, able to give informed consent, not in employment, not regularly attending social or cultural activities) and exclusion criteria (e.g. unable to travel to the museum, unable to function in a group situation, unlikely to be able to attend all sessions, unable to take part in interviews and complete questionnaires). In a within-participants' design, the Museum Wellbeing Measure for Older Adults (MWM-OA) was administered pre-post session at start-, mid- and end-programme. A total of 12 programmes, facilitated by museum staff and volunteers, were conducted in seven museums in central London and across Kent. In addition to the quantitative measures, participants, carers where present, museum staff and researchers kept weekly diaries following guideline questions and took part in end-programme in-depth interviews. Results: Multivariate analyses of variance showed significant participant improvements in all six MWM-OA emotions, pre-post session at start-, mid- and end-programme. Two emotions, 'absorbed' and 'enlightened', increased pre-post session disproportionately to the others; 'cheerful' attained the highest pre-post session scores whereas 'active' was consistently lowest. Conclusion: Museums can be instrumental in offering museum-based programmes for older adults to improve psychological wellbeing over time. Participants in the study experienced a sense of privilege, valued the opportunity to liaise with curators, visit parts of the museum closed to the public and handle objects normally behind glass. Participants appreciated opportunities afforded by creative and co-productive activities to acquire learning and skills, and get to know new people in a different context.
... Furthermore, qualitative research revealed that when experienced nurses took museum objects to patients' bedsides, the objects acted as a vehicle for communication and emotional disclosure in women facing a gynaecological cancer diagnosis . These studies complement work associated with the role of art galleries in health and well-being, which has also received attention in recent years (Eekelaar, Camic & Springham, 2012;Roberts, Camic & Springham, 2011;Rosenberg, 2009). ...
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The role of non-clinical interventions in health and social care is attracting increased interest as the value of community based assets in public health gains support. For the last six years University College London researchers have explored the advantages of a mixed methods approach to assess the therapeutic benefits of museum-focused interventions in healthcare settings including hospital wards and care homes. Using a combination of qualitative grounded theory and thematic analysis together with quantitative measures has resulted in a robust appraisal of the potential of handling and discussing museum objects in terms of positive effects on cognitive stimulation, health and wellbeing. Measures consisting of the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS) and Visual Analogue Scales (VAS) taken before and after object handling sessions of around 40 minutes showed increases in positive emotion and decreases in negative emotion with improvements in subjective wellbeing and happiness. Qualitative analysis of audio recordings from the sessions were used to account for how improvements in wellbeing were brought about and revealed that mutual exploration of the objects led to deeper thinking and meaning making, and acted as a distraction from the clinical environment. Interview data gathered from participants, carers, health and social care staff provided a more nuanced understanding of the impact of a non-clinical intervention and led to the development of best practice guidelines for those working in museums and health. The research, which is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, has led to further funding to investigate the value of museum engagement in social prescribing. 'Museums on Prescription' will connect socially isolated, vulnerable and lonely older adults, referred through local NHS and Local Authority Adult Social Care services, to partner museums in Central London and Kent. A combination of qualitative and quantitative methods will be used for analysis of interview data and measures of wellbeing and social isolation taken before, during and after 10 weekly, two-hour, museum sessions, and at three and six month telephone follow-ups, to provide insights into non-clinical prescriptions and a psycho-social model of health rather than reliance upon a purely medical model. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.
... Crawford, Lewis, Brown, & Manning (2013) argued that the arts have an important place in mental health recovery, with the potential to facilitate spaces of compassion, trust and shared understanding [15]. Indeed, studies from music [16][17][18][19], dance [20,21] and art [22,23] have all contributed to evidence that creative arts activities can support and enhance aspects of mental health. Singing, in particular, has received research attention in relation to its health benefits. ...
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Background: Previous research has demonstrated that making music can enhance positive emotions as well as support positive psychological functioning. However, studies tend to be limited by lack of comparison with other psychosocial interventions. This study builds on a three-arm randomised controlled trial (RCT) that demonstrated that group singing for mothers and babies, but not group creative play, can lead to faster recovery from moderate-severe symptoms of postnatal depression than usual care. The aim was to elucidate the mechanisms of the group singing intervention in order to account for its recovery properties. Methods: Qualitative research was conducted with 54 mothers who had experienced symptoms of postnatal depression. Mothers completed a 10-week programme of either group singing or group creative play as part of the wider RCT study. Data were collected via a series of 10 semi-structured focus groups conducted at the end of each 10-week programme. These were designed to elicit subjective and constructed experiences of the singing and play interventions and were analysed inductively for emergent themes. Results: Five distinctive features of the group singing emerged: (i) providing an authentic, social and multicultural creative experience, (ii) ability to calm babies; (iii) providing immersive 'me time' for mothers; (iv) facilitating a sense of achievement and identity; (v) enhancing mother-infant bond. Conclusions: Community group singing interventions may reduce symptoms of postnatal depression through facilitating a functional emotional response rooted in the needs of new motherhood. These features are of relevance to others seeking to implement creative interventions for maternal mental health. Trial registration: NCT02526407 . Registered 18 August 2015.
... Publicly hosted mental health themed exhibitions have also been found to create a platform for viewers to reflect on mental health, as well as increase awareness and reduce stigma [20]. For family carers of people who have experienced a mental illness, viewing art in a public gallery is reported to be a positive experience, providing social and psychological support in a safe environment [21]. ...
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Background: The therapeutic potential of art to contribute to mental health, well-being and recovery is widely recognised. Benefits include improved self-esteem, self-confidence, communication skills, personal relationships, and fostering greater social inclusion. The Rural Art Roadshow is a collaborative art project between the University of Tasmania and not-for-profit mental health and disability support service, Wellways. The Rural Art Roadshow is a travelling art exhibition that takes selected artworks submitted by individuals affected by mental illness, to 4-6 small rural towns across Tasmania, Australia. The broad aim of the project is to help reduce stigma and promote a positive image of mental health in rural communities. Whilst the positive impact of art exhibitions has been recognised, there is little research that reports on the experience of participating artists. This study aimed to gain an understanding of the experience of artists impacted by mental illness who participated in the Rural Art Roadshow. Method: A mixed-methods approach was employed. The qualitative data described the experience of 23 artists (17.4% male) who exhibited their work. Data were collected during a series of semi-structured interviews and thematically analysed. This was augmented by survey data (n = 145) from visitors to the exhibition over 3 successive years. Results: Three overarching themes were identified from the interviews: Community Impact, Social Gains and Personal Gains. Sub-themes were: community inclusion, engagement in rural communities, mental health promotion, mental health literacy, connecting with others, enhancing family relationships, creating conversations, positive sense of self, increased self-efficacy and professional recognition for artists. These themes were consistent with visitor survey results. Conclusions: The findings demonstrate that community art exhibitions can have social and personal benefits for participating artists whilst contributing to rural community wellbeing. This is particularly important for rural communities where isolation and stigma around mental illness is often exacerbated. The Rural Art Roadshow is a promising mental health promotion approach for rural and remote areas of Australia. Future research could assess the community health gains of Rural Art Roadshow participation as well as explore the impact on local service providers.
... Furthermore, qualitative research revealed that when experienced nurses took museum objects to patients' bedsides, the objects acted as a vehicle for communication and emotional disclosure in women facing a gynaecological cancer diagnosis . These studies complement work associated with the role of art galleries in health and well-being, which has also received attention in recent years (Eekelaar, Camic & Springham, 2012;Roberts, Camic & Springham, 2011;Rosenberg, 2009). ...
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Background: This study sought to determine the effects of a heritage-in-health intervention on well-being. Benefits of arts-in-health interventions are relatively well-documented yet little robust research has been conducted using heritage-in-health interventions, such as those involving museum objects. Method: Hospital patients (n = 57) participated in semi-structured, 30–40 minute facilitated interview sessions, discussing and handling museum objects comprising selections of six artefacts and specimens loaned from archaeology, art, geology and natural history collections. Well-being measures (Positive Affect Negative Affect Scale, Visual Analogue Scales) evaluated the sessions while inductive and deductive thematic analysis investigated psycho-educational features accounting for changes. Results: Comparison of pre- and post-session quantitative measures showed significant increases in well-being and happiness. Qualitative investigation revealed thinking and meaning-making opportunities for participants engaged with objects. Conclusion: Heritage-in-health sessions enhanced positive mood and social interaction, endorsing the need for provision of well-being-related museum and gallery activities for socially excluded or vulnerable healthcare audiences.
... This strategy allows for inclusivity through interaction and personal contact between the community and persons with dementia. There has been evidence from past research indicating that arts-based programmes in accessible community spaces could play an important role in alleviating some of the social issues associated with the condition (Camic & Chatterjee, 2013;Roberts et al., 2011). By offering art activities alongside persons with dementia in community spaces, these dementia-friendly initiatives create opportunities for individuals participating in the activity to share a meaningful and engaging experience (Eekelaar et al., 2012;George et al., 2011) and to witness the persons with dementia make positive contributions using their skills and knowledge in a stimulating setting . ...
Article
The prevalence of dementia in Singapore is on the rise. Due to the negative perceptions associated with the condition, persons with dementia and their care partners face an increased risk of social isolation and loneliness. One objective of the Arts and Dementia programme offered by the Alzheimer’s Disease Association is to increase inclusivity of persons with dementia in the community. To investigate the impact of the programme on perceptions towards dementia, a mixed-method approach involving 75 artists and volunteers was conducted. Findings from the Approaches to Dementia Questionnaire revealed that participants involved in the programme had significantly more positive perceptions than new volunteers. A thematic analysis was conducted on the focus group discussions and four themes were identified: (1) meaningful and rewarding interactions, (2) focus on abilities, (3) learning process and (4) more can be done. These findings suggest that meaningful experiences during the programme may be a driving force behind positive perceptions towards dementia.
... Many museums run participatory projects focused on objects in their collections. Their broad aim is to improve the participants' wellbeing through creativity, social interaction or the generation of new knowledge or skills (for example Roberts et al. 2011;Arts 4 Dementia 2013). ...
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Flavia Ravaioli discusses the use of locally accessible materials for use in preventive conservation, especially in contexts where resources are very limited and specialised materials unavailable. In such circumstances the attempt to apply Western standards of best practice may not be sustainable and can in fact disempower practitioners. Ravaioli considers the causes for some of the major challenges found in these contexts and suggests measures to overcome them.
... While the significance of the setting where programmes were delivered was not a specific research question for other work in this area, commentary suggests that visiting certain places evoked a sense of privilege, in terms of the way that participants appreciated the special arrangements being made for them in beautiful and important places, outside the usual visitor experience (Camic & Chatterjee, 2013;Mittelman & Epstein, 2009). The potential challenges posed by the physical characteristics of the environment also received comment, such as wayfinding and navigation through unfamiliar spaces (Mittelman & Epstein, 2009;Roe et al., 2016), as did the importance of advance information about the venue and of staff support on the day (Roberts et al., 2011;Camic & Chatterjee, 2013). ...
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Promoting access to heritage settings has been acknowledged as a way to promote well-being in the United Kingdom for people living with dementia and their care partners. Yet there is a lack of information available internationally on the contribution of heritage sites to promote well-being and social inclusion for those living with dementia. This study addresses this gap by reporting on the impact for 48 people of participating in the ‘Sensory Palaces’ (SP) programme run by Historic Royal Palaces at Hampton Court and Kew Palaces in the United Kingdom. Two primary data sources were used; post-session interviews involving 30 participants (the person living with dementia and/or their care partners), and 131 sets of self-complete pre- and post-session mood questionnaires administered directly before and after SP session attendance. Analysis of the data sets is presented under three themes: enjoyment and engagement; connecting and learning and place, space and time. The findings demonstrate that participants highly valued the heritage sessions and reported positively on the impact this had for their individual well-being and their relationships with one another. This study highlights the opportunity for heritage sites to contribute to promoting well-being for people living with dementia.
... 7 8 These benefits have been found among healthy individuals as well as people with mental health problems, dementia, substance use addiction, carers, families living in deprived areas, asylum seekers and isolated adults. [9][10][11] Unfortunately, previous studies have suggested a social and geographical gradient in cultural engagement, in which the engagement rate is higher among people living in more affluent areas. [12][13][14] Certainly, CCE relies on cultural assets (ie, tangible spaces, buildings or organisations) being available within communities, and most community cultural assets are unevenly distributed across the UK in ways that covary with deprivation. ...
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Objectives The association between community cultural engagement and mental health and well-being is well established. However, little is known about whether such associations are influenced by area characteristics. This study therefore examined whether the association between engagement in community cultural assets (attendance at cultural events, visiting museums and heritage sites) and subsequent well-being (life satisfaction, mental distress and mental health functioning) is moderated by neighbourhood deprivation. Design Data were drawn from Understanding Society: The UK Household Longitudinal Study waves 2 and 5. Participating households’ addresses were geocoded into statistical neighbourhood zones categorised according to their level of area deprivation. Setting General population. Participants UK general adult population, with a total sample of 14 783. Main outcome measures Life satisfaction was measured with a seven-point scale (1: completely unsatisfied to 7: completely satisfied). Mental distress was measured using the General Health Questionnaire 12. Mental health functioning was measured using 12-item Short Form Health Survey (SF-12). Results Using Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) regression, we found that engagement in cultural assets was consistently and positively associated with subsequent life satisfaction and mental health functioning and negatively associated with mental distress. Importantly, such associations were independent of individuals’ demographic background, socioeconomic characteristics and regional location. The results also show that relationships between engagement in community cultural assets and well-being were stronger in more deprived areas. Conclusions This study shows that engagement in community cultural assets is associated with better well-being, with some evidence that individuals in areas of high deprivation potentially may benefit more from these engagements. Given that causal mechanisms were not tested, causal claims cannot be generated from the results. However, the results suggest that place-based funding schemes that involve investment in areas of higher deprivation to improve engagement rates should be explored further to see if they can help promote better well-being among residents.
... Additional clinical exploration and research is needed to help better understand and appreciate the possibilities and potential of material objects-found or otherwise-in clinical work. In particular, future research could further explore the use of found and everyday objects ( Hocking, 1997) in patient groups where visually engaging stimuli have been shown to be beneficial, such as with people with a dementia and their family care givers ( Rosenberg, 2009;Eekelaar, 2011), those experiencing a first episode of schizophrenia ( Romano et al., 2011), medical inpatients ( Chatterjee & Noble, 2009), people with severe and enduring mental health problems ( Colbert, 2011), and those who care for people with severe mental health problems ( Roberts, Camic, & Springham, 2011). ...
... There has been recent development of art viewing programmes aiming to harness some of the benefits described above. Art viewing can be viewed as analogous to a therapeutic encounter as it includes processes such as externalization of problems, verbalising complex emotions, and an educational dimension (Roberts et al, 2011). An art viewing programme developed for people with dementia indicated that the activity stimulated mood, memory and cognition (Eekelaar et al, 2012) and another found that art viewing facilitated identify construction in older people (Newman et al, 2012). ...
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There is growing evidence which supports the therapeutic utility of visual art. In this chapter visual art is referred to interchangeably as art or visual art. This includes work on neuroaesthetics, art as therapy, art as an educational tool, and art used to enhance clinical and public environments. These will be considered in turn with reference to three case studies which illustrate the wider utility of visual art in healthcare.
Article
Arts for health initiatives and networks are being developed in a number of countries and an international literature is emerging on the evidence of their benefits to people's health, wellbeing and quality of life. Engagement in cultural and creative arts by older people can increase their morale and self-confidence and provides opportunities for social connection. Museums and galleries are increasingly required to justify their expenditure, reach and impact and some are working in partnership with local councils, hospitals, schools and communities to improve access to their collections. There is a body of literature emerging that describes such initiatives but empirical evidence of their benefits is less developed. This article reports an evaluation of an art for health initiative - Coffee, Cake & Culture organised and delivered by Whitworth Art Gallery and Manchester Museum in 2012 for older people living in a care home and a supported living facility. The study has identified the benefits and impacts of the arts for health programme and its feasibility for older people, with or without diagnosed memory loss - dementia, living in a care home or supported living facility and their care staff. The findings demonstrate there were benefits to the older people and their care staff in terms of wellbeing, social engagement, learning, social inclusion and creativity. These benefits were immediate and continued in the short term on their return home. The majority of older people and care staff had not previously been to the art gallery or museum and the programme encouraged creative arts and cultural appreciation which promoted social inclusion, wellbeing and quality of life. The programme is feasible and important lessons were identified for future planning. Further research involving partnerships of researchers, arts for health curators, artists, care staff, older people and their families is warranted.
Article
Objectives: To examine the experiences of mental health service users who took part in an arts-based programme at Tate Modern, a major London art gallery. Study design: Exploratory qualitative design. Methods: Data were collected using in-depth semi-structured interviews with 10 mental health service users who had taken part in a community-based programme at Tate Modern. Additionally, six art educators from Tate Modern were interviewed. Concepts that emerged from the text were identified using thematic analysis. Results: All participants valued the gallery-based programme. The three overarching thematic areas were: the symbolic and physical context in which the programme workshops were located; the relational and social context of the programme workshops; and reflections on the relationship between the arts-based programme and subsequent mental health. Conclusions: Art galleries are increasingly seen to function as vehicles for popular education with mental health service users. This study adds to the growing body of evidence related to how mental health service users experience and reflect on arts-related programmes targeted at them. This study indicates that emphasis on how users experience gallery-based programmes may contribute to a more nuanced understanding of the relationship between art and mental health.
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Objectives: This is the first known study that sought to understand the experience of an eight-week art-gallery-based intervention offered at two distinctly different galleries for people with mild to moderate dementia and their carers. The study examined impact on social inclusion, carer burden, and quality of life and daily living activities for a person with dementia. Method: A mixed-methods pre-post design using standardised questionnaires and interviews involved 24 participants (12 with dementia) and compared similar interventions at a traditional and a contemporary art gallery. Qualitative data was analysed using thematic analysis. Results: No significant pre-post difference was found between the traditional or contemporary gallery groups on quantitative measures. There was, however, a non-significant trend towards a reduction in carer burden over the course of the intervention for both gallery groups. Thematic analysis revealed well-being benefits from both traditional and contemporary art gallery sites that included positive social impact resulting from feeling more socially included, self-reports of enhanced cognitive capacities for people with dementia, and an improved quality of life. Conclusion: Participants were unanimous in their enjoyment and satisfaction with the programme, despite the lack of significance from standardised measures. Further consideration of art galleries and museums, as non-clinical community resources for dementia care, is warranted. The interventions at both galleries helped to foster social inclusion and social engagement, enhance the caring relationship between the carers and PWD, support the personhood of PWD, and stimulate cognitive processes of attention and concentration.
Article
Numerous approaches have been developed to address work-related stress (work-stress) but evidence of their efficacy is sparse. This is also the case for art therapy-based approaches, whose processes are also poorly explicated and understood. This study therefore attempted an initial exploration of the potential therapeutic mechanisms within art therapy-based groups for work-stress with staff in health and social care. Data were gathered from staff at four health and social care sites (N = 20) in an exploratory embedded multiple case study design. The process involved art-viewing and art-making in small groups. Art-viewing supported relational processes, expression of emotionality and playfulness, in turn facilitating therapeutic engagement. Art-making, often initially experienced as intimidating, was reported as revealing true emotions linked to work-stress issues, which for some participants led to action to alleviate their impact. This study suggests that art-viewing, hitherto a neglected component of art therapy, may be important for that practice or practices based on it. The study also suggests a greater potential for art therapy-based to be used as an approach to address work-stress in health and social care.
Article
ARTEMIS (ART Encounters: Museum Intervention Study) is an art-based intervention designed especially for people with dementia and their care partners that involves a combination of museum visits and artistic activity. This paper reports the results of a randomized wait-list controlled study on the influence of the ARTEMIS intervention on the emotional state, well-being, and quality of life of dementia patients. People with mild-to-moderate dementia (n = 44) and their care partners (n = 44) visited the Frankfurt Städel Museum once a week on six pre-arranged occasions. The intervention consisted of six different guided art tours (60 minutes), followed by art-making in the studio (60 minutes). Independent museum visits served as a control condition. A mixed-methods design was used to assess several outcomes including cognitive status, emotional well-being, self-rated aspects of quality of life, and subjective evaluations by informal caregivers. In a pre-post-assessment, we found significant improvements in participants' self-rated quality of life (t = -3.15, p < .05). In a situational assessment of emotional well-being immediately before and after each of the museum sessions, we were able to demonstrate statistically significant positive changes with medium effect sizes (dcorr = .74-.77). Furthermore, the total Neuropsychiatric Inventory score as well as the affective (depressed mood and anxiety) and apathy subscales were significantly lower after the ARTEMIS intervention (tNPI total = 2.43; tNPI affective = 2.24; tNPI apathy = 2.52; p < .05). The results show that art museum-based art interventions are able to improve the subjective well-being, mood, and quality of life in people with dementia. This promising psychosocial approach deserves further attention in future studies and consideration in community-based dementia care programs.
Article
Zusammenfassung. Demenzielle Erkrankungen sind zum jetzigen Zeitpunkt überwiegend nicht heilbar, nehmen aber aufgrund des demographischen Wandels stetig zu. Neben den pharmakologischen Behandlungsmethoden wird mit Hilfe psychosozialer Ansätze unter anderem versucht, das Wohlbefinden und die Lebensqualität der Betroffenen zu erhöhen und psychopathologische Begleiterscheinungen der Erkrankung abzumildern. Kreativtherapeutische Interventionen, wie Musik- oder Kunsttherapie, stellen hierbei inzwischen zunehmend eingesetzte Herangehensweisen dar. Aufgrund der gegenwärtigen wissenschaftlichen Evidenz können allerdings nur einzelne positive Effekte benannt werden, deren Generalisierbarkeit bisher jedoch eingeschränkt ist. Der vorliegende Artikel bietet eine Übersicht wichtiger Projekte und Studien der letzten Jahre zum Einsatz kunsttherapeutischer Methoden bei Demenz und stellt anschließend ein aktuelles Praxis-Forschungsprojekt vor, welches sich zum Ziel setzt, ein spezielles Kunstvermittlungsangebot für Menschen mit Demenz (MmD) und ihre Angehörigen im laufenden Museumsbetrieb zu implementieren und durch begleitende wissenschaftliche Evaluation einige Forschungslücken auf diesem Gebiet zu schließen. Das Kernstück der Studie bildet die interaktive Auseinandersetzung mit Kunst und Kunstwerken im Rahmen von regelmäßig stattfindenden Museumsbesuchen und anschließender Atelierarbeit. Mit Hilfe eines randomisierten Wartekontrollgruppendesigns sollen die psychologischen und sozialen Wirkungen dieser Intervention auf MmD und ihre Angehörigen eingehend untersucht werden.
Article
Purpose Preserving our built heritage from the onslaught of weather, pollution, development and the effects of tourism is a complex endeavour. Appended to this is the need to ensure that heritage buildings are inclusive to all users. Thus, built heritage is plagued with contradictions and conflict between conservation goals and those to support inclusivity given the limited resources often available. Dementia has been purposely selected for this study as numbers of diagnosed sufferers are increasing at an alarming rate, and enagement with heritage has been proven to support well-being. The paper aims to discuss this issue. Design/methodology/approach This research review draws on systematic principles and presents an analysis of the available literature on well-being programmes designed for people living with dementia and their care supporters, with particular reference to programmes in heritage settings, and the resulting impact for users. Findings This review critically evaluates the available evidence from published literature on the role of the heritage setting, on how it impacts on the experience of dementia participants. In doing so, it draws on findings from the experiences and well-being of people living with dementia and their care supporters; assesses the current state of knowledge, identifies support implications and makes recommendations for future research. In doing so, it highlights a dearth in the literature on research related to the physical environment setting, particular addressing any cognitive impairments that may arise that can alter psychosocial processes, such as lighting, temperature, acoustics and materiality, so that they can be understood and suitably adapted to support the well-being of those living with dementia. Originality/value The scant lack of financial resources to support inclusivity in built heritage, and the argument that some heritage cannot be adapted, often leads to only limited opportune for people with dementia. Thus, there is an inherent need for an understanding of current research and well-being programmes so that it can be focalled in the future to support built heritage tourism in a way that it is inclusive to all.
Article
This paper describes a mental health-awareness audio tour of the National Gallery, London, and evaluates the development and implementation of the tour. This smartphone-based audio tour was co-produced by Gallery staff, young people with lived experience of mental health issues, academics, and technologists. Interviews (N = 22) were conducted with developers and data-collectors (who had gathered feedback from Gallery visitors who undertook the tour) with responses analysed thematically. Participants highlighted the value of the arts to raise awareness about mental health, and the importance of teamwork, lived experience, and co-production, but also raised the challenges of integrating low-budget projects into large-scale venues.
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Visiting art museums is a common activity that a wide variety of people choose to engage in for many reasons. Increasingly, communities, nations, and societies are turning to art museums as institutions to enhance flourishing (i.e., reducing ill-being factors, such as depression, and increasing well-being factors, such as feelings of belonging). In this paper, we review the psychological literature examining art museum visitation and museum program participation and their associations with flourishing-related outcomes. The literature suggests art museum visitation is associated with reductions in ill-being outcomes and increases in well-being outcomes. Additionally, programs targeting flourishing outcomes in clinical or at-risk populations (e.g., people living with dementia, older adults) show benefits to participants, with visits to art museums being socially prescribed across the globe to address a variety of ill-being conditions. Implications for existing knowledge and avenues for future research are discussed.
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Museums are part of a new movement by different cultural organisations to become more accessible to diverse audience groups including people with dementia. At the same time, very few studies have examined the potential role that museums may play in improving the quality of life for persons with dementia and their caregivers. In Estonia the number of people with dementia is rising and currently there are over 22,000 people diagnosed with dementia. However, until now, the issue has not been addressed in Estonian museums. This ethnographic study, will be the first one to raise the awareness of this topic in Estonia. The paper discusses the growing role of design in dementia care and its power to enhance the wellbeing of people living with dementia and their caregivers. In this study ethnographic research methods are applied—participant observation experience and eleven expert interviews in total, eight with Estonian museum workers and three with occupational therapists working with PWD. The informants were chosen from two cities—Tallinn and Tartu, which have the largest and most visited museums in Estonia. The aim of this study is to include and compare mixed selection of state owned museums carrying the largest art and ethnographic-historical collections [Estonian National Museum], art collections [Art Museum of Estonia and Tartu Art Museum] and collection of historical artefacts [Estonian History Museum]. Three main themes arise from the fieldwork which are being discussed: (a) museum staff experience with people with dementia (b) museum staff training possibilities and potential partners and (c) museum´s challenges; cultural policy and financial resources.
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With an ever-growing number of people with dementia, no cure, treatment or effective prevention effort is available to bring medical relief to deal with this condition. Therefore, efforts should be made to support people to live well with dementia and design can contribute to this by the creation of better care services, products and environments. A European research and implementation project was set up to tackle this, with the aim to promote and support the development and quality of products designed to enhance the daily lives and care of people with dementia, including the creation of a certification quality mark. In order to set up that certification quality mark, a series of requirements for ‘good’ design for people with dementia need to be developed. This has presented several challenges due to the diversity and complexity inherent to dementia, as well as to the wide range of products on offer. This paper presents the initial phase of this ongoing research project and discusses the uncertainties and critique regarding the creation of design requirements and how the consortium overcame them.
Article
This article reports findings from the evaluation of ‘Sensory Palaces’, an innovative project developed by the charity Historic Royal Palaces, which looks after six of the United Kingdom’s unoccupied royal palaces. The Sensory Palaces project employs creative facilitators to support people living with dementia and their care partners in engaging with two of these sites; Hampton Court Palace and Kew Palace. This paper focusses on the role and contribution of the creative facilitators in supporting people living with dementia to connect with these heritage spaces. It reports on data collected from facilitator interviews relating to the benefits of engaging together through sensory and creative methods to explore and share experiences of the palaces, drawing out important factors from the design, content and delivery of the sessions.
Article
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The Rural Art Roadshow was designed to build community resilience, reduce stigma and promote a positive image of mental health in rural Tasmania, Australia by show-casing a travelling exhibition of art submitted by Tasmanian community members affected by mental illness. The project combined the benefits of art as therapy, and the art show as a community event to increase social inclusion, and facilitate positive conversations about mental health.
Article
Consciousness-raising practices at the heart of feminism remain one of the most vital components of transformative learning theory and provide the foundation for its constructivist underpinnings. Recently, there has been a call for educators to employ consciousness-raising practices outside of traditional classroom settings and to focus greater attention on the ‘extra-rational’ aspects of education – especially when working with marginalised adult learners. This is very much in keeping with engaged feminist pedagogy that allows space for emotions in learning. Reflecting on our experiences facilitating access to art programmes with people diagnosed with mental illness and addiction at the Art Gallery of Ontario, we highlight several examples of gender-related consciousness-raising that emerged. These experiences suggest that exploring mental illness through engagement with art in a social setting allows participants to deepen their understanding of art and the political implications of their life experiences. These tours also seem to serve as a powerful counterpoint to more clinical and masculine ways of framing mental health and well-being. Ultimately we argue that it is our explicitly feminist approach to transformative learning and not the existence of accessibility programmes themselves that holds the promise of redefining what and who museums are for.
Article
Aims: The aim of this article is to present a new observational tool for assessing the impacts of museum object handling for people with moderate-to-severe dementia in hospital settings, focusing on wellbeing, social interaction, level of engagement and agitation. This article presents a four-step approach to collaboration towards co-developing the tool, which involved a range of academics, museums professionals, and health and social care partners, and describes the process of integrating multiple perspectives towards common research methodologies. Methods: The research team organised a series of meetings and workshops with museum and healthcare partners to identify commonly used assessments and their perspectives on the objectives and possible outcomes of museum object handling activities. These were integrated with findings from a review of current conceptualisations of engagement in people with dementia (PWD) to produce a fit-for-purpose video evaluation method of the health and wellbeing impacts of the museum object handling programmes. Results: This article presents the Museum Engagement Observation Tool for use in hospital settings for people with moderate-to-severe dementia. Conclusion: This article suggests that collaborative approaches can inform the development of future methods for creative health research and evaluation initiatives and to support this, it outlines the process of development of a new observational tool for people with dementia.
Article
People visit art museums for many reasons—to see something beautiful or famous, to learn more about art, or to experience a sense of awe. Recently, there has been increased interest in how art museum engagement can promote flourishing. Little is known, however, about how the professionals shaping these art museum experiences (e.g., curators, educators, front of house staff) view art museums as institutions that can promote flourishing outcomes. In the present research, we examined the perceptions of 208 art museum professionals regarding the functions of art museums and their ability to impact both well-being (e.g., empathy, self-acceptance) and ill-being (e.g., anxiety, loneliness) factors. The findings suggest that art museum professionals feel that the well-being of visitors should be emphasized as a goal more strongly than it currently is, and that there are some well-being and ill-being components (e.g., empathy, helping, closed-mindedness) that should receive greater attention than others.
Article
This article considers the ways in which gathering evaluative evidence may be inhibited when working beyond the supportive frameworks provided by an employing organisation. While recognising these difficulties, the article then focuses on the differences in the practice setting and the ways in which visual arts-based methodologies are evolving. Two arts-based evaluation methods are described – the ‘retrospective review’ and the ‘reflect interview and audio-image recording’. This article also considers how art psychotherapists in private practice might adapt these methodologies in order to gather arts-based evaluative evidence within a collaborative client/therapist paradigm.
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Oncology patients experience significant psychological distress in addition to physical symptoms associated with illness. Overwhelming emotions, negative moods, and other forms of psychological stressors are present due to uncertain future. Shock experienced after receiving diagnosis, distress associated with medical decision-making, lack of control over one's environment, and fears related to changes in lifestyle within the course of the illness are a few examples of the challenges faced by patients. Art therapy is a therapeutic treatment modality that accommodates the opportunity for patients to make autonomous decisions, organize and structure these choices, and obtain a sense of control over personal artwork as well as the therapeutic experience. In this paper, the authors explore the literature surrounding the impact of perceived control on psychological distress in oncology patients, the connection between decision-making and perceived control, and the potential for art therapy to increase perceived control through decision-making opportunities for oncology patients.
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In diesem Kapitel wird eine von sechs thematischen Kunstführungen mit anschließender Kreativarbeit im Atelier vorgestellt, wie sie im Rahmen des Praxis-Forschungsprojekts ARTEMIS am Städel Museum in Frankfurt am Main durchgeführt werden. Das Projekt richtet sich an Menschen mit Demenz und deren begleitende Angehörige.
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Background This study sought to determine the effects of a heritage-in-health intervention on well-being. Benefits of arts-in-health interventions are relatively well-documented yet little robust research has been conducted using heritage-in-health interventions, such as those involving museum objects. Methods Hospital patients (n = 57) participated in semi-structured, 30–40 minute facilitated interview sessions, discussing and handling museum objects comprising selections of six artefacts and specimens loaned from archaeology, art, geology and natural history collections. Well-being measures (Positive Affect Negative Affect Scale, Visual Analogue Scales) evaluated the sessions while inductive and deductive thematic analysis investigated psycho-educational features accounting for changes. Results Comparison of pre- and post-session quantitative measures showed significant increases in well-being and happiness. Qualitative investigation revealed thinking and meaning-making opportunities for participants engaged with objects. Conclusions Heritage-in-health sessions enhanced positive mood and social interaction, endorsing the need for provision of well-being-related museum and gallery activities for socially excluded or vulnerable healthcare audiences.
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This article is based on a larger study exploring the use of visual methods as a communication tool in research where the researcher is often a ‘border crosser’ (Giroux, 1992). To illustrate the value of this methodology, particularly in instances where power imbalances are heightened in the research context, a case study was conducted with five teenage mothers from a sub-economic community outside Cape Town, South Africa. This article will explore how use of visual methods contributes to increased validity of data. Specifically, this discussion will consider how the use of images as a communication tool, increase participant control over the research process, and incorporates participant self-representation via a period of self-exploration, improving contextual accuracy and relevance of data.
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"Principles of Community Psychology" . . . is a comprehensive text integrating theory, research, and practice across the diverse subject matter of community mental health and community psychology. Emphasizing an ecological approach, this text places problems in both their current and historical influences that shape and change behavior and mental health. Conceptually built around the models of stressful life events, social support, and coping, it applies these concepts as a key integrative device for analyzing diverse phenomena and interventions which include self-help, prevention, and social action. Thoroughly updated, this 2nd edition has been completely rewritten to include updated references and research, boxes on current topics, chapter outlines, expanded case studies, practical examples, and chapter discussions. The new edition offers students a more accessible text that presents concrete, detailed, up-to-date examples of programs, research, and scholarship from many different fields. . . . [This textbook] challenges community psychologists, as well as students of psychology, sociology, and social work, to look at the impact of the new conservatism on human services and the opportunities that are presented for innovative approaches in the new political climate. (From the foreword by Seymour Sarason:) Prior to this edition, this book was unrivaled for its scope and depth of the obvious and not-so-obvious psychological implications of what American communities are: what problems they face, how they do and do not change. What this new edition makes abundantly clear is that what is called a "community" is glaringly porous: in the modern, highly technical, mobile world, a community is affected by events near and far from its borders, events that are psychological, sociological, economic, political, and legal. Yes, this is a book written by and for psychologists, but it draws upon the social sciences as no other book in the field. This is more than a book about the American community. It is about America. The details are many, but they are never divorced from the contents from which they emerge and which they illuminate. This book is more than an introduction to community psychology.
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Empathy plays a central role in social relationships, and lack of empathy has been suggested as part of expressed emotion in the relatives of patients with schizophrenia. The aim of this research is to measure empathy in the relatives of schizophrenia patients and to establish the relationship between lack of empathy and relapse. Eighty schizophrenia patients were followed up in a 2-year prospective cohort study. Relatives' empathy, defined as the ability to perceive the patient's mood state, was measured at the beginning of the study with a questionnaire given after a 10-minute interaction between the patient and his or her relative. Several other attitudinal, clinical, and social variables were also measured. A significant relationship was found between poor empathic attitude and relapse. Lack of treatment compliance, negative symptoms, unemployment, and poor premorbid adjustment were also associated with relapse. In a multivariate analysis, the association between poor empathic attitude and relapse was maintained. Statistical control of the relatives' critical attitude showed that each kind of attitude predicts relapse independently.
Chapter
This book presents a respectful, often playful approach to serious problems, with groundbreaking theory as a backdrop. The authors start with the assumption that people experience problems when the stories of their lives, as they or others have invented them, do not sufficiently represent their lived experience. In this way narrative comes to play a central role in therapy.
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This paper describes the results of a pilot project involving a partnership between Oxleas Foundation NHS Trust and Tate Britain aimed at producing art-based information prescriptions. Carers and service users used visual images, in the form of art works in Tate Britain and self-created pictures, as a means of communicating their experience for others who had similar conditions and experiences. The imagery and the discussions involved were recorded in Podcast form to be given to those newly entering into contact with mental health services. Whilst explicitly not aiming to be a therapy intervention, art therapy played a particular role and this is explored in the paper, specifically as a tool for psychological engagement with art works and in the management of risk. The pilot showed that information prescriptions produced this way communicated emotionally relevant material in an accessible form. An added benefit of the sessions was that participants found the production method itself helpful for processing troubling experience and engaging with the gallery's work on a personal level. This has implications for clinical art therapy practice.
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According to estimates by the Alzheimer's Association, Alzheimer's disease currently affects more than five million Americans. The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City has a long history of offering programs and services that promote engagement and enhance quality of life. In 2006 MoMA began an innovative approach to serving people with Alzheimer's and their caregivers. This article will describe the value and importance of visual arts in healthcare by highlighting the MoMA Alzheimer's Project.
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This article outlines the ways in which the theory and practice of art therapy inform an expanded experience of museum viewing that transitions the participant from passive viewer to self-expressive artist and potential exhibitor. The focus of this exhibit is the life of Friedl Dicker-Brandeis, a Jewish artist from Vienna who was ultimately a victim of the Holocaust. Even at the concentration camps, she devoted her time to teaching children art until she was ultimately sent to Auschwitz. This experiment of art therapy includes two phases; in the first phase, the Sunday workshops, brief art-making experiences allowed visitors to the Friedl Dicker-Brandeis exhibit to express their reactions to her life, work and more importantly, their personal connections to the psychological issues it stimulated. In the second phase, this experiment was expanded as art reactions to all the museum's exhibits were facilitated with young teenagers. This work suggests the possibility of a new paradigm for museum participation; inclusion of art therapy processes in the museum experience offered participants deepened opportunities to encounter the exhibits. Viewers who become actively connected to an exhibit through experiential art processes experience a deeper sense of involvement with the museum. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Both research and applied psychologists pay surprisingly little attention to the material objects encountered in day-to-day living, even though the significance of these objects in human development has been profound. Drawing on literature from the visual arts, consumer behavior, anthropology, psychology, art therapy, and museum studies, this is the first known article to examine the psychological, social, and aesthetic factors involved in found and second-hand object use. A survey design employing a qualitative questionnaire, analyzed by grounded theory, was given to 65 people from 8 countries. Results identified a found object process that involves the interaction of aesthetic, cognitive, emotive, mnemonic, ecological, and creative factors in the seeking, discovery, and utilization of found objects. This has potential implications for the use of material objects within health care by applied psychologists and allied professionals. An initial theoretical explanation about the use of found objects is proposed to help guide further research in this area. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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The findings of a study investigating carers' accounts about serious mental illness occurring in their family are presented. The narrative form is a primary means of ordering, structuring, and communicating illness experiences, reflecting some of the processes that carers intend to master and understand. Psychotic episodes entail a frightening disruption that forces carers to face fundamental existential, moral, and psychological issues because they call into question the continuity of lives and life-projects. This study has explored how carers articulate the consequences of a devastating experience and turn it into a meaningful event that can in some way be incorporated into the course of their life. Two types of narrative structure were identified. In stories of restitution or reparation, the experience of the event is transformed into phenomena having meaning, occupying a place in carers' lives. In chaotic and frozen narratives, the illness remains a series of random events. The effects on coping of these two narrative types were explored, as well as gender-related themes and beliefs about mastery and control. Therapeutic implications are discussed and also possible connections to other research constructs (for example, Expressed Emotion). It is argued that the concept of illness must be approached from a systemic, multidetermined perspective that includes our narrative constructions.
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An intergenerational community intervention based on contact theory and using ‘photovoice’ methods was designed to change negative age-group stereotypes and promote sense of community. A focused ethnographic approach was adopted. Participants were 18 young people and 13 older adults. Data from focus groups, carried out with each generation separately, and observational field notes were analysed using thematic analysis; credibility checks were carried out by auditing and respondent validation. Before the intergenerational intervention, both generations presented age-group stereotypes and both experienced only a weak sense of community. After the intervention, both generations felt that intergenerational contact had reduced age-group stereotypes and enhanced recognition of intergenerational similarity; many also articulated a positive sense of community. The intervention has promise for helping young people and older adults to feel more socially included. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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This article proposes (1) that educational theories usually reserved for behind-the-scenes curriculum design should be considered as the open content of metacognitive activities in the classroom; and (2) that works of art are particularly rich sources for the invitation and validation of multiple perspectives. The author provides examples of reflection on evolving theories of education that may help students' metacognition with regard to their own learning and the learning of others. As specific examples of this claim, Gardner's theories of multiple intelligences and entry points are explored as authentic topics for classroom learning. Suggesting and reviewing art-related metacognitive activities that engage inquiry, access, and reflection, the paper draws from research led by the author in Project Museums Uniting with Schools in Education (MUSE).
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The visual arts can be an important and rich domain of learning for young children. In PreK education, The Task Force on Children’s Learning and the Arts: Birth to Age Eight (Young children and the arts: Making creative connections, Washington, DC: Arts Education Partnership, 1998) recommends that art experiences for young children include activities designed to introduce children to works of art that are high quality and developmentally appropriate in both content and presentation. This paper documents the teaching strategies utilized by a master art teacher at the Denver Art Museum to engage preschool-age students in art viewing experiences which were part of a museum-based art program. This research provides support for integrating rich, meaningful art viewing experiences as a regular part of young children’s arts experiences while offering early childhood educators teaching strategies for early art viewing experiences.
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The art museum, although an arena for education purposes, is still a novel venue for art therapy. However, art therapists are beginning to enter the doors of these institutions and incorporating art objects into treatment options for their clients. Concurrently, museums are searching for ways to widen their audience base and to attract non-traditional populations into their halls. Art therapists can be of great use to museums by bringing non-traditional groups to the museum and museums can be of value to art therapists by providing a rich resource for clients and for art therapy. This article summarizes the impact of the historical aspects of art museums and the role of the art museum educator to assist the art therapist in understanding how to approach art museums for client use. Additionally, an art therapy pilot project is described in which a local art museum was utilized to assist middle school students increase their awareness of the concept of family.
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This review explores the relationship between engagement with the creative arts and health outcomes, specifically the health effects of music engagement, visual arts therapy, movement-based creative expression, and expressive writing. Although there is evidence that art-based interventions are effective in reducing adverse physiological and psychological outcomes, the extent to which these interventions enhance health status is largely unknown. Our hope is to establish a foundation for continued investigation into this subject and to generate further interest in researching the complexities of engagement with the arts and health.
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To explore the literature through a systematic search to assess the effectiveness of mutual support groups for family caregivers of people with schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders. This review of the research literature was based on the procedures suggested by the National Health Service Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (2001) Report Number 4 in the UK [National Health Service Centre for Reviews and Dissemination, 2001. Undertaking Systematic Reviews of Research on Effectiveness: CRD's Guidance for those Carrying out or Commissioning Reviews (CRD Report Number 4). 2nd ed., University of York, York, UK]. A combined free-text and thesaurus approach was used to search relevant research studies within electronic databases, including Medline, Embase, CINAHL, OVID full-text, PsycINFO, the Cochrane Library, the British Nursing Index, the NHS National Research register, and System for Info on Grey literature for the period 1980-2007. Reference lists of all retrieved literature were also searched to identify studies that may have been missed. Twenty-five research studies were selected for inclusion in the analysis on the basis that they were either family led or professional-facilitated support group programmes for family caregivers of people with schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders. The review identified that most studies on this group programme used qualitative, exploratory cross-sectional surveys and quasi-experimental study designs (n=19); six were experimental studies or randomised controlled trials. There were only a few small-scale, single-centre controlled trials with the findings supporting the significant positive effects of mutual support groups on families' and patients' psychosocial well-being. A number of non-experimental studies conducted in Western countries reported benefits of group participation up to 1 year, such as increased knowledge about the illness, reduced burden and distress, and enhanced coping ability and social support. However, many of these studies lacked rigorous control and did not use standardised and valid instruments as outcome measures or schedule follow-up to examine the long-term effects of support groups on families and/or patients. With increasing recognition of benefits from mutual support, this review highlights the dearth of evidence for the effects and active ingredients of mutual support groups. Mutual support may have significant impacts on long-term psychosocial and nursing interventions for both patients with severe mental illness and their families in community mental health care. Further research is recommended to investigate the therapeutic components and effects of mutual support groups for family caregivers of people with schizophrenia and psychotic disorders across cultures.
Article
This article reviews the cognitive therapy of depression. The psychotherapy based on this theory consists of behavioral and verbal techniques to change cognitions, beliefs, and errors in logic in the patient's thinking. A few of the various techniques are described and a case example is provided. Finally, the outcome studies testing the efficacy of this approach are reviewed.
Article
The extent to which titles influence aesthetic experiences was examined in 3 experiments. Participants viewed and rated illustrations and photographs on understanding and qualities of the aesthetic experience (e.g., enjoyment, interest). The presence and type of title were manipulated across conditions and experiments. Metaphorical titles led to greater aesthetic experiences than either no title or descriptive titles (the elaboration effect). The elaboration effect occurred regardless of whether participants believed the titles to be true or false. It also occurred for art-experienced participants, but only for representational and not abstract illustrations. Random titles lowered understanding but not aesthetic experiences. Overall, titles increased aesthetic experiences only when they contributed to rich and coherent representations.
Article
This randomized controlled trial examined the effectiveness of a 12-session mutual support group conducted over 3-months for Chinese family caregivers of a relative with schizophrenia compared with routine family support services in Hong Kong. Forty-eight family caregivers from two psychiatric outpatient clinics were allocated randomly to an experimental (mutual support and usual outpatient care) group (n = 24) or a control (usual outpatient care only) group (n = 24). Data were collected prior to, 1 week and 3 months after the intervention. Families allocated to the mutual support group experienced decreased levels of family burden and increased family functioning and these changes were significantly greater than those of the controls at both post-intervention time points. The experimental group also showed a significant decrease in the duration of patient re-hospitalization (the total number of days of psychiatric hospitalization) at 3 months compared with the control group. This suggests that the mutual support group provided a more responsive service for patients than standard care. However, there was no significant difference in family service utilization between the two groups. The findings indicate that a mutual support group can provide benefits for family caregivers of people with schizophrenia that go beyond those provided by routine family support.
Article
Although aesthetic experiences are frequent in modern life, there is as of yet no scientifically comprehensive theory that explains what psychologically constitutes such experiences. These experiences are particularly interesting because of their hedonic properties and the possibility to provide self-rewarding cognitive operations. We shall explain why modern art's large number of individualized styles, innovativeness and conceptuality offer positive aesthetic experiences. Moreover, the challenge of art is mainly driven by a need for understanding. Cognitive challenges of both abstract art and other conceptual, complex and multidimensional stimuli require an extension of previous approaches to empirical aesthetics. We present an information-processing stage model of aesthetic processing. According to the model, aesthetic experiences involve five stages: perception, explicit classification, implicit classification, cognitive mastering and evaluation. The model differentiates between aesthetic emotion and aesthetic judgments as two types of output.
Article
This study investigates how public mental health policy addresses the role and needs of those who care for people with mental health problems. Public mental health policy recognises that carers are at increased risk of poor health. Countries want to ensure that mental health services are responsive to the needs of "carers", that carers participate in the planning and implementation of services and that more information should be made available to carers. Respite care is recommended as a way to improve the health of both carers and service users. Unfortunately, policies only identify possibilities for intervention, and rarely identify specific actions to be taken or clarify who has responsibility for delivering interventions. Further the financial implications of the proposals and the need for additional trained staff are seldom discussed. Current proposals for helping carers are inadequate.
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