A qualitative evaluation of psychosocial outcomes of the Creative Communications pilot project for people with dementia
This evaluation was designed in order to explore the impact of the Creative Communications pilot programme (a six week programme of person-centred dance, movement and visual arts) on participants at a care home. Timed observations of the sessions were conducted as well as semi-structured interviews with care home staff and the project facilitators. Through the use of observation scales, a number of outcomes were assessed including commitment, creative expression, embodiment, verbal and non-verbal communication, wellbeing and satisfaction. The interviews assisted in exploring from the professionals’ and facilitators’ perspective the impact of the project in these domains as well as exploring further key themes regarding the experiences of those involved in the programme in terms of quality of life and other related factors.\ud \ud The evaluation demonstrated that Creative Communications sessions provided physical, psychological and social benefits to the participants, including the opportunity to participate in meaningful activities; behavioural improvements; increased mobility, social interaction, confidence, self-esteem, mood and concentration; increased skills; and higher levels of wellbeing. These findings confirm evidence from previous studies about the benefits of non-pharmacological methods in the care of people with dementia.\ud \ud Recommendations include ensuring further collaborative work between artists and care homes takes place; the involvement of care home staff and relatives of residents in future sessions; consultation with participants prior to and throughout the intervention; and encouragement of commissioners to consider supporting arts for health projects involving older people, which incorporate comprehensive evaluations.
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