University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

A Taxonomy of Arts Interventions for People With Dementia

Cousins, E., Tischler, V., Garabedian, Claire ORCID: and Dening, T. (2020) A Taxonomy of Arts Interventions for People With Dementia. The Gerontologist, 60 (1). pp. 124-134. ISSN Print: 0016-9013 Online: 1758-5341

Cousins et al. Gerontologist eprint (3).pdf - Accepted Version

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Background and Objectives
The current evidence base for the arts and dementia has several limitations relating to the description, explanation, communication, and simplification of arts interventions. Research addressing these challenges must be multidisciplinary, taking account of humanities and science perspectives. Consequently, this research aimed to produce a taxonomy, or classification, of arts interventions for people with dementia as a contribution to this growing field.
Research Design and Methods
This research was underpinned by taxonomy and realist methodology. Taxonomy, the science of classification, produces a common language to name, define, and describe the world around us. Realist theory explains how interventions “work” and produce their effects. The main findings in this paper were generated from a case study and a Delphi study.
An arts and dementia taxonomy of 12 dimensions was developed: Art Form, Artistic elements, Artistic focus, Artistic materials, Arts activity, Arts approaches, Arts facilitators, Arts location, Competencies, Complementary arts, Intervention context, Principles.
Discussion and Implications
Arts interventions can be classified according to their contexts, mechanisms, and outcomes. A range of stakeholders could benefit from the taxonomy, including people with dementia, artists, practitioners, carers, care staff, funders, commissioners, researchers, and academics. Language relating to the arts and dementia can be adapted depending on the audience. This is a foundational model requiring further development within the arts and dementia community.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information:

This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in The Gerontologist following peer review. The version of record of Emily Cousins, Victoria Tischler, Claire Garabedian, Tom Dening, A Taxonomy of Arts Interventions for People with Dementia, The Gerontologist is available online at:
Staff and students at the University of Worcester can access the full-text of the published article via the UW online library search. External users should check availability with their local library or Interlibrary Requests Service.

Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: general medicine, classification, framework, realist, methodology, mechanisms, dimensions, Alzheimer’s Disease, dementia, arts, taxonomic classification
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Divisions: College of Health, Life and Environmental Sciences > School of Allied Health and Community
Related URLs:
SWORD Depositor: Prof. Pub Router
Depositing User: Claire Garabedian
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2019 10:46
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2020 08:49

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