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Arts-based interventions for people living with dementia: Measuring ‘in the moment’ wellbeing with the Canterbury Wellbeing Scales

Strohmaier, Sarah, Homans, Karl M, Hulbert, Sabina, Crutch, Sebastian J, Brotherhood, Emilie V, Harding, Emma, Camic, Paul M. (2021) Arts-based interventions for people living with dementia: Measuring ‘in the moment’ wellbeing with the Canterbury Wellbeing Scales. Wellcome Open Research, 6 . Article Number 59. ISSN 2398-502X. (doi:10.12688/wellcomeopenres.16596.3) (KAR id:89267)

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Background: There is growing acknowledgement for the need to move beyond exclusive biomedical understandings of dementia and also focus on how to improve the lives and wellbeing of people living with dementia. A mounting body of research advocates for the benefits of arts-based interventions for this population. The purpose of this study was to explore the links between multiple components of arts-based interventions and subjective wellbeing in order to help assess if these activities might contribute to meaningful community-based dementia care initiatives.

Methods: Using previously collected data across different intervention sites, a within- and between- participants design was used that assessed wellbeing through the Canterbury Wellbeing Scales (CWS) in people with mild-to-moderate dementias (N = 201) who participated in various community arts-based interventions (ABI). Data were analysed using non-parametric statistical analyses and bootstrapped moderation models.

Results: Increases in subjective wellbeing were associated with all forms of ABI. Co-creative sessions significantly strengthened the relationship between number of sessions attended and overall wellbeing as well as optimism. No significant moderating effect was observed between number of sessions attended and carer presence.

Conclusions: In the largest study of its kind to date to assess wellbeing using arts activities in a community-based dementia sample, findings support the use and acceptability of the CWS as a measurement tool for people with early-to-middle stages of dementia and suggest that the CWS can reliably measure wellbeing in this population. In addition, the positive effect of arts-based interactions on specific aspects of wellbeing were found, which provide a better understanding of the conditions under which these effects can be prolonged and sustained. Further research is needed to better understand the environmental, social, and psychological mechanisms through which these improvements operate

[version 2; peer review: 1 approved]

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.12688/wellcomeopenres.16596.3
Uncontrolled keywords: dementia, wellbeing, arts-based interventions, Canterbury Wellbeing Scales
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research > Centre for Health Services Studies
Depositing User: Helen Wooldridge
Date Deposited: 14 Jul 2021 11:26 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2023 10:52 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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