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Id 187
Author Poulos, R.G.; Marwood, S.; Harkin, D.; Opher, S.; Clift, S.; Cole, A.M.D.; Rhee, J.; Beilharz, K.; Poulos, C.J.
Title Arts on prescription for community‐dwelling older people with a range of health and wellness needs

Poulos RG, Marwood S, Harkin D, Opher S, Clift S, Cole AMD et al. Arts on prescription for community-dwelling older people with a range of health and wellness needs. Health Soc Care Community. 2019;27(2):483–92.

Keywords ageing; art; community dwelling; community services for elder people; health; mental health
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Abstract Published evidence for the role of participatory art in supporting health and well‐being is growing. The Arts on Prescription model is one vehicle by which participatory art can be delivered. Much of the focus of Arts on Prescription has been on the provision of creative activities for people with mental health needs. This Arts on Prescription program, however, targeted community‐dwelling older people with a wide range of health and wellness needs. Older people were referred to the program by their healthcare practitioner. Professional artists led courses in visual arts, photography, dance and movement, drama, singing, or music. Classes were held weekly for 8–10 weeks, with six to eight participants per class, and culminated with a showing of work or a performance. Program evaluation involved pre‐ and postcourse questionnaires, and focus groups and individual interviews. Evaluation data on 127 participants aged 65 years and older were available for analysis. We found that Arts on Prescription had a positive impact on participants. Quantitative findings revealed a statistically significant improvement in the Warwick–Edinburgh Mental Well‐being Scale (WEMWBS) as well as a statistically significant increase in the level of self‐reported creativity and frequency of creative activities. Qualitative findings indicated that the program provided challenging artistic activities which created a sense of purpose and direction, enabled personal growth and achievement, and empowered participants, in a setting which fostered the development of meaningful relationships with others. This evaluation adds to the evidence base in support of Arts on Prescription by expanding the application of the model to older people with a diverse range of health and wellness needs.

Metodology The AoP program was publicised within the two local communities through visits by program staff to health practitioners, local councils, libraries, community groups, and local hospitals. Eligible participants were aged 65 years or older. Courses were available in the visual arts, photography, dance and movement, drama, singing, and music. Classes were held weekly for 8–10 weeks, with six to eight participants per class. Professional artists were recruited through advertisements and were attended 2 days of training which highlighted the role of art in health, the health and wellness needs of older people, and ways of working with older people. At the commencement of each course, participants completed a precourse questionnaire which contained open‐ended questions, statements to respond to using Likert scales, and validated measures of mental well‐being and frailty. At the conclusion of each course, participants completed a questionnaire similar to the precourse questionnaire. Open‐ended responses asked participants to report the ways in which they had benefitted from the AoP program, and which aspects of the course they enjoyed the most and the least. Eight focus groups of participants (19 males, 29 females) and four individual interviews (two males and two females) were undertaken over the program period. Interviews were recorded and transcribed for analysis. Quantitative data analysis was undertaken using SPSS. Baseline and postprogram comparisons were made using the paired t test for paired numerical data and the McNemar test for paired categorical data; an independent samples t test was used to compare mean differences in WEMWBS scores for participants who attended more (three or four) compared to less (one or two) courses. Focus group and interview data were coded inductively by the first author (RP), using NVIVO 11. Initial codes were grouped into a number of themes, and extracts within the data which most typically illustrated each theme were selected and reviewed, with themes being refined as necessary.

DOI 10.1111/hsc.12669
Search Database Snowballing
Technique questionnaire; focus group; interviews; t test; WEMWBS score; NVIVO
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