Exploring museum-based programmes for people living with a mild-to-moderate dementia

DClinPsych Thesis

Dickens, L. 2020. Exploring museum-based programmes for people living with a mild-to-moderate dementia. DClinPsych Thesis Canterbury Christ Church University Salomons Institute of Applied Psychology
AuthorsDickens, L.
TypeDClinPsych Thesis

Museum-based programmes are recognised as having the potential to engage people with dementia (PWD) in the community and to positively impact wellbeing. However, there is a recognised lack of methodological rigour limiting the quality of the evidence-base. A systematic review is presented to better understand the psychological and social impacts of museum-based programmes specific to heritage settings for people with mild-to-moderate dementia. Themes relating to psychological outcomes comprised mood and enjoyment, subjective wellbeing, quality of life, and personhood; other key themes were cognition, engagement, and social outcomes. Quantitative measures tended to yield mixed results. There was much overlap in qualitative outcomes across studies.

To expand the evidence-base of meaningful activities for PWD in line with dementia care guidance, a mixed-methods study investigated the subjective wellbeing of PWD following small group object handling (OH) sessions in a museum. Building on previous research, the processes within sessions that may have promoted wellbeing were also explored. Wellbeing scores tentatively suggested an overall increase following OH sessions. Qualitative themes identified were scaffolding, exploring objects, agency, and group collaboration. Tentative interpretations are made around the dynamic interaction of themes and subthemes. The limitations of the study are considered, and clinical and research implications discussed.

KeywordsDementia ; Museum-based programmes; Wellbeing
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Deposited19 Jan 2021
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