The participative arts for people living with a dementia: a critical review

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Hannah Zeilig
John Killick
Chris Fox


In the last decade, interest has increased in the role of the participative arts for people who are living with a dementia. The flourishing of this area can be partly understood because of an awareness of the potential for art to deliver health care outcomes. In addition, there is widespread agreement that non-pharmacological interventions are important for people living with a dementia. Therefore, participative arts activities have attracted attention as representing beneficial interventions. This critical review which involved the careful mining of academic and grey literature using replicable search strategies contextualises the participatory arts for people living with a dementia and provides an overview of some of the art orms that are most widely used. The review also highlights some of the extant gaps in the knowledge base. The focus is on the UK context but the role of the participative arts for those with a dementia is equally relevant to practitioners in Europe and the US, and therefore some attention was also given to international literature.


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