S73: Dementia care research through creative expression.

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By September 26, 2017 No Comments

Authors: Joanna Jaaniste

Year: 2017

Event: 2017 TheMHS Conference

Subject: Research & Evaluation Informing Practice,Lifespan – Children, Youth, Adults, Older People,Wellbeing

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers

Abstract: In a 2013 mixed method PhD research project investigating possible wellbeing improvement through 16 sessions of dramatherapy with a group of people with dementia (Jaaniste et al., 2015) the Creative Expressive Abilities Assessment (CEAA) (Gottlieb-Tanaka 2016) was employed to assess creative expression improvement of the participants. Seven domains of the scale : language, memory, attention, sociability, problem-solving, feelings and cultural/spiritual aspects, are all important areas of investigation for any serious attempt to improve the Quality of Life (QoL) of people in later lifespan with dementia. It is of benefit to point out that in all areas bar one there was an overall average improvement in the group.
The study as a whole demonstrates that the CEAA is a robust measure to use, shows an unusual low budget improvement in the aged care field and justifies the extra time spent by health professionals once a creative group has finished. We saw a surprising cross-fertilisation of interests and a depth of immersion in art works and drama, showing what could be achieved if participants continued with this work. QoL showed improvement in improving sociability, problem-solving skills, use of language and expression of feeling over the time, as well as attention and memory.

Learning Objectives
Learning Objective 1: Delegates will take away evidence-based information on how to use a tested, reliable and valid tool along with the creative engagement of elders with dementia.
Learning Objective 2: An improvement in QoL through inexpensive creative therapy sessions can obviate the necessity for psychiatric medication, often prescribed for ‘sundowning’ or extreme restlessness in people with dementia.

Jaaniste, E. J. (2013). Missing the point: Dementia, biomedicine and dramatherapy. In I. Veljanova, C. Mills, & G. Emmanuel (Eds). Conference papers of 21st century science: health, agency and wellbeing, Sydney (pp. 3-16). Oxford, UK: Interdisciplinary Net.
Jaaniste, J., Linnell, S., Ollerton, R. L., Slewa-Younan, S. (2015). Drama therapy with older people with dementia—Does it improve quality of life? The Arts in Psychotherapy, 43, 40-48.

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