The Benefits of Community-based Participatory Arts Activities for People Living With Dementia: A Thematic Scoping Review


Arts & Health: An International Journal of Research, Policy and Practice




BACKGROUND: The drive towards living well with dementia has resulted in a growing recognition of the value of community-based participatory arts activities. This review aimed to explore their overall impact and holistic benefits for people with early to moderate stages of dementia. METHODS: Using a scoping review methodology and thematic analysis, this review explored relevant literature published between 2008 and 2019. RESULTS: 26 published papers were identified, comprising visual arts, literary arts, comedy, music and dance. The key themes included person-centred, in-the-moment approaches; participation and communication; attention and cognition; social cohesion and relationships; and the role of space, place and objects. CONCLUSIONS: There is strong evidence in support of using participatory arts for dementia, regardless of art form. In-the-moment and person-centred approaches were deemed impactful. Further research is needed to explore the importance of setting, material culture and the methodological or theoretical perspectives in participatory arts and dementia research.

Music and Health Institute Terms

Alzheimer's and Related Dementias; Cognitive Abilities; Community Music Experience; Interpersonal Relations; Mental Health; Neurodegenerative Disorders; Recreative Music Methods; Wellness and Well-Being

Indexed Terms

Cognition; Dancing; Dementia; Social Cohesion; Dementia; creativity; health and wellbeing; in the moment; participatory arts; person-centred

Study Type

Systematic Review; Quantitative Methods

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