Care staff and the creative arts: exploring the context of involving care personnel in arts interventions
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BACKGROUNDArts-based interventions play an important role in the care of people with dementia. Yet, creative arts are seldom implemented as a tool to enhance the care and wellbeing of people with dementia.METHODSWe examined the involvement of care staff in creative arts activities in residential care. Aspects of involvement that appear to influence outcomes in people with dementia were identified and analyzed. A broad systematic literature search of MedLine, EMBASE, PsychInfo, CINAHL, ASSIA, SCOPUS, and Web of Science led to the identification of 14 papers. The studies identified through the search process were examined in terms of intervention, context, mechanism and outcome, and the relationships between these aspects.RESULTSTraining sessions were identified as an opportunity to educate care personnel on useful techniques that are relevant to daily care practice. Evidence from the literature suggests that creative arts programs play a significant role in the way staff and residents interact and as a result influence the care practice of staff. Under certain conditions creative arts programs, that involve and engage staff, facilitate enhanced interactions and improve care strategies, which leads to the recognition and validation of personhood in residents with dementia.CONCLUSIONSThese findings provide a basis for illustrating which elements of care staff involvement in creative arts programs could be implemented in residential care contexts in order to have the upmost benefit.