Our Previous Research

In our first study, we focused on evaluating engagement. Our purpose was to answer two questions:

1. Does Artful Moments facilitate positive engagement ‘in the moment’ for people living with mid- to late-stages of dementia?

2. What are the perceptions of the family members who shared the experience of the impact of Artful Moments on their loved one? 

Participants’ engagement was measured by direct observation using the Affect and Engagement Rating Scale, a modification of the Philadelphia Geriatric Center Affect Rating Scale (Lawton, Van Haitsma, & Klapper, 1996). This tool was used by MoMA in their own research. The scale measures interest, pleasure, sadness, anxiety and anger through observations of certain behaviours. In order to proceed with the study we completed an ethics review and worked with hospital staff to guide the study.

You can read more about this project in two articles:

Hazzan, A., Humphrey, J., Kilgour-Walsh, L.,et al. (2016). Impact of the ‘Artful Moments’ intervention on persons with dementia and their care partners: a pilot study. Canadian Geriatrics Journal, 19(2). Available through open access at: http://cgjonline.ca/index.php/cgj/issue/view/22)

Humphrey, J., Montemuro, M., Coker, E. et al (2017). ‘Artful Moments’: A framework for successful engagement in an arts-based programme for persons in the middle to late stages of dementia. Dementia. available online doi: 10.1177/1471301218776780. 

This study showed that by implementing a program guided by our Model for Successful Engagement (we used an earlier version of our current model in this work), we were able to engage participants.

Since then our work has shifted past this initial line of enquiry. We realized that ‘engagement’ was not an end itself, but rather it was the process by which we achieved a more significant outcome of ‘wellbeing’.

Artful Moments - Janis and Sonia share in a conversation program with participants.
Janis and Sonia share in a conversation program with participants.

More recently, we worked with The Museum Well-Being Measures Toolkit (Thomson and Chatterjee, 2015). This toolkit was developed to assess the impact of museum/art gallery activities on aspects of health and well-being in those who participated in those activities. It contains four tools including The Generic Well-Being Questionnaire, The Positive Well-Being Umbrella and a complementary Negative Umbrella, and a fourth tool called the Thoughts and Comments’ Bubbles. The full toolkit can be found in the Materials section. We also conducted a focus group to discuss participants’ experiences.

This study looked at whether Artful Moments could have a positive impact on participants’ feelings of social connection, and reduce feelings of isolation. What we found – it did! You can read the full report in the Trillium Final Report in the Materials section.

The toolkit was easy for participants to complete themselves, and it yielded a great deal of valuable feedback. By focusing on participant-driven data collection rather than observation, we were able to empower participants’ voices to speak for themselves, giving them agency and personhood. Their feedback has since helped to guide our program development, evaluation and sharing.