An evaluation of group reminiscence arts sessions for people with dementia living in care homes

Frank Keating

Laura Cole

Robert Grant

First Published

July 16, 2018

           Research Article


Article information


has been identified as one of the major challenges in the 21st Century.
The detrimental effects of dementia can jeopardise personhood, thus
person-centred interventions including reminiscence and arts practice
have been recommended as tools to promote social inclusion and improve
the quality of life. This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of
group reminiscence arts sessions for people living with dementia in care
homes (residential and nursing homes) using a comparative and time
series design to collect data on quality of life. The intervention was
conducted in six care homes in London over a period of 24 weeks and
compared with six care homes not receiving the intervention (control).

Dementia Care Mapping was used as the primary data collection instrument
to measure positive behaviours and rate quality of life before, during
and after group reminiscence arts sessions. The evaluation team observed
the sessions at three-weekly intervals. Statistical modelling found
that positive behaviours and quality of life of care home residents
participating in group reminiscence arts sessions increased over the
24-week period. Well-being increased sharply during each session and
plateaued at 50 minutes with a sustained positive effect after the
sessions. On a longer timescale, well-being and quality of life
increased slowly and steadily from one session to the next. The findings
were statistically significant (p < 0.001). The study
concludes that group reminiscence arts sessions can have a positive and
sustained impact on the quality of life of people with dementia.
However, the evidence on the sustainability of the effect over time
remains unknown. More research is needed to assess in much greater depth
the association between quality of life and group reminiscence arts

Published by Residential Forum

The Residential Forum is to promote the achievement of high standards of care and support for children and adults living in residential care and nursing homes, supported housing, residential schools and colleges, hospices and hostels. It contributes to improving the quality of service to the public. Members of the Forum are people of standing and experience drawn from the public, private and voluntary sectors, as well as some who can speak for service users and carers.

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