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Effects of a museum-based social prescription intervention on quantitative measures of psychological wellbeing in older adults

Thomson, LJ; Lockyer, B; Camic, PM; Chatterjee, HJ; (2017) Effects of a museum-based social prescription intervention on quantitative measures of psychological wellbeing in older adults. Perspectives in Public Health , 138 (1) pp. 28-38. 10.1177/1757913917737563. Green open access

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Abstract

Aims: To assess psychological wellbeing in a novel social prescription intervention for older adults called Museums on Prescription and to explore the extent of change over time in six self-rated emotions (‘absorbed’, ‘active’, ‘cheerful’, ‘encouraged’, ‘enlightened’ and ‘inspired’). Methods: Participants (n = 115) aged 65–94 years were referred to museum-based programmes comprising 10 weekly sessions, by healthcare and third sector organisations using inclusion criteria (e.g. socially isolated, able to give informed consent, not in employment, not regularly attending social or cultural activities) and exclusion criteria (e.g. unable to travel to the museum, unable to function in a group situation, unlikely to be able to attend all sessions, unable to take part in interviews and complete questionnaires). In a within-participants’ design, the Museum Wellbeing Measure for Older Adults (MWM-OA) was administered pre-post session at start-, mid- and end-programme. A total of 12 programmes, facilitated by museum staff and volunteers, were conducted in seven museums in central London and across Kent. In addition to the quantitative measures, participants, carers where present, museum staff and researchers kept weekly diaries following guideline questions and took part in end-programme in-depth interviews. Results: Multivariate analyses of variance showed significant participant improvements in all six MWM-OA emotions, pre-post session at start-, mid- and end-programme. Two emotions, ‘absorbed’ and ‘enlightened’, increased pre-post session disproportionately to the others; ‘cheerful’ attained the highest pre-post session scores whereas ‘active’ was consistently lowest. Conclusion: Museums can be instrumental in offering museum-based programmes for older adults to improve psychological wellbeing over time. Participants in the study experienced a sense of privilege, valued the opportunity to liaise with curators, visit parts of the museum closed to the public and handle objects normally behind glass. Participants appreciated opportunities afforded by creative and co-productive activities to acquire learning and skills, and get to know new people in a different context.

Type: Article
Title: Effects of a museum-based social prescription intervention on quantitative measures of psychological wellbeing in older adults
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/1757913917737563
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1177/1757913917737563
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Science & Technology, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Public, Environmental & Occupational Health, emotion, intervention, measures, older adults, psychological wellbeing, social prescribing, HEALTH, PEOPLE
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Genetics, Evolution and Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Arts and Sciences (BASc)
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10042751
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