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Museum object handling groups in older adult mental health inpatient care

Solway, R; Thompson, L; Camic, PM; Chatterjee, HJ; (2015) Museum object handling groups in older adult mental health inpatient care. International Journal of Mental Health Promotion , 17 (4) pp. 201-214. 10.1080/14623730.2015.1035520.

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Abstract

Emerging evidence indicates that museum object handling sessions offer short-term benefits to healthcare participants. This study aimed to further understand psychological and social aspects of object handling in mental health inpatients. Older adults (N = 42) from a psychiatric inpatient ward with diagnoses of depression or anxiety took part in a series of object handling group sessions with 5–12 participants per group. Session audio recordings were subjected to thematic analysis. Five main themes were identified: ‘responding to object focused questions’, ‘learning about objects and from each other’, ‘enjoyment, enrichment through touch and privilege’, ‘memories, personal associations and identity’ and ‘imagination and storytelling’. The first four were congruent with literature associated with positive wellbeing and engagement outcomes but the fifth was a new finding for group contexts. Limitations include the relatively small sample and variable week-to-week group attendance. Audio recordings did not provide information on non-verbal communication and how objects were handled. Future studies should control for attendance and examine effects of multiple sessions over time, ideally with video recording. This study offers preliminary support for museum object handling as a group intervention in mental health care with potential to develop therapeutic aspects of the sessions. Findings indicate that object handling is a novel yet effective intervention with potential for conferring additional advantages by conducting sessions in group settings.

Type: Article
Title: Museum object handling groups in older adult mental health inpatient care
DOI: 10.1080/14623730.2015.1035520
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14623730.2015.1035520
Language: English
Keywords: Science & Technology, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Public, Environmental & Occupational Health, Psychiatry, Anxiety, Depression, Group Session, Inpatient, Intervention, Engagement, Museum Object, Older Adult, Wellbeing, Heritage-Focused Intervention, Life
UCL classification: UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Biosciences (Division of) > Genetics, Evolution and Environment
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1496098
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