An investigation into the effects of sport and physical activity on the wellbeing of people with dementia and those who care for them
Hill, N. 2019. An investigation into the effects of sport and physical activity on the wellbeing of people with dementia and those who care for them. PhD Thesis Canterbury Christ Church University Salomons Centre for Applied Psychology
Introduction: The growing prevalence of dementia is a global concern. The care pathway within the UK healthcare system advocates for the importance of engagement with community-based activities for people with dementia (PWD), including sport. Although the importance of psychological and social wellbeing for PWD has been established, there is a paucity of evidence regarding the effects of sport and physical activity on these constructs.
Method: The study design was a qualitative enquiry, utilising multiple avenues of data collection. PWD and carers participated in a six-week golf programme, facilitated by golf centre staff. Overall, ten PWD, five carers and three staff provided data for the study, which was subjected to thematic analysis.
Results: The analysis culminated in the establishment of five central themes: affectivity, respite, losing the "dementia" label, friendship/camaraderie and improving relationships. Underlying subthemes were identified, while potential links between themes were highlighted.
Discussion: This study adds to the evidence base for the role of golf (and sport more generally) in enhancing the psychological and social wellbeing of PWD, carers and staff. This concurs with existing policy which asserts the importance of engaging with community-based physical activity for this population. Potential mechanisms for these effects, limitations and implications are discussed.
|Keywords||Dementia; golf, sport; wellbeing; thematic analysis|
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|Publication process dates|
|Deposited||26 Sep 2019|
|Accepted author manuscript|
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