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'Festival in a Box': Development and qualitative evaluation of an outreach programme to engage socially isolated people with dementia

Eades, M; Lord, K; Cooper, C; (2018) 'Festival in a Box': Development and qualitative evaluation of an outreach programme to engage socially isolated people with dementia. Dementia: The International Journal of Social Research and Practice , 17 (7) pp. 896-908. 10.1177/1471301216658158. Green open access

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Abstract

We co-designed and piloted 'Festival in a Box', an outreach programme to enable socially isolated people with dementia to engage with and enjoy cultural activities in their homes. It comprised 3-4 weekly home visits, each led by a professional artist to create art works using materials brought in 'the box'. Activities included music, poetry, pottery, crafts and photography. We qualitatively interviewed 13 participants (6 people with dementia, 4 artists, 3 befrienders). Six participants with dementia completed, enjoyed and engaged with the planned visits. Main themes were: engagement, reflection on value of previous cultural activities, precariousness and isolation in current neighbourhood and the importance of a voice and being heard. Befrienders reported their preconceptions of what participants could do were challenged. Artists reported shifts in their preconceptions about dementia and the influence of the project on their professional practice. We propose that the 'Festival in a Box' pilot study suggests a means through which community arts festivals could work with socially isolated people with dementia to contribute to the creation of 'Dementia Friendly Communities'. A larger-scale pilot study is now needed to develop this hypothesis.

Type: Article
Title: 'Festival in a Box': Development and qualitative evaluation of an outreach programme to engage socially isolated people with dementia
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/1471301216658158
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1471301216658158
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author(s) 2016.
Keywords: arts, cultural activities, dementia, isolation, pilot trial
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 > Division of Psychiatry
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1507960
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