Exploring the role of care staff in creative arts interventions in residential care homes

Broome, Emma E. (2019) Exploring the role of care staff in creative arts interventions in residential care homes. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Background: Creative arts interventions are suggested to play an important role in the care of people living with dementia. However, the potential of the arts as a tool to enhance the care and well-being of people living with dementia is seldom realised. Previous research on arts interventions has focused on their efficacy. Whilst resource constraints and availability of skilled facilitators are key factors, in residential settings, care staff play a crucial role in determining the successful facilitation of creative arts programmes in their workplace.

The aim of this research is to examine how care staff influence the access of people living with dementia participating in creativity activity in residential care. It also explores how care staff influence the experience of people living with dementia participating in creative arts interventions in residential care.

This research was conducted in care homes participating in Imagine Arts, a three year programme funded by Arts Council England and the Baring Foundation with the theme of arts and older people in care. It aimed to enrich the lives of older people in care settings through the provision of an innovative programme of arts.

Method: To address the research aims, this thesis presents a realist informed programme of theory development. The results from a systematic literature review examining the involvement of care staff in creative arts in residential care were used to develop an initial programme theory: that under certain conditions creative arts programmes which involve and engage care staff, facilitate enhanced interactions and improves care strategies. This theory was further developed through pilot case studies.

A qualitative dual case study, used to empirically test and revise the initial programme, was conducted in two UK care settings involved in the Imagine Arts programme. Multiple data sources were used including non-participant observation (Dementia Care Mapping), semi-structures interviews, fieldnotes and documents. Data were analysed using a realist informed approach identifying context, mechanisms and outcome configurations.

Theory refinement was an iterative process and involved conducting a cross-case analysis between each data set, looking for instances which confirmed or refuted the initial programme theory.

Results: The findings from the literature review and case studies contributed to a revised programme theory which outlines which contextual conditions need to be in place for care staff to actively engage in creative activity.

The study has shown that when these conditions apply it is likely that there will be positive interactions such as inclusion, fun and celebration, between care staff and people with dementia. Key outcomes of care staff engagement in creative activity include the promotion of sustainability of creative activity.

Conclusion: This evaluation research is one of the first to examine the involvement of care staff within the context of a real world programme of arts. It demonstrates how care staff participation in creative activity, alongside residents living with dementia, facilitates positive person work, upholding residents’ personhood. The findings from this research extend current thinking on how creative arts can be implemented within care settings as well as providing a basis for developing programmes of arts in care settings.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Dening, Tom
Schneider, Justine
Brooker, Dawn
Keywords: Creative arts; Dementia; Residential care homes
Subjects: W Medicine and related subjects (NLM Classification) > WT Geriatrics. Chronic disease
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Medicine
Item ID: 56764
Depositing User: Broome, Emma
Date Deposited: 15 Aug 2019 14:55
Last Modified: 07 May 2020 10:30
URI: https://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/56764

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