An International Taxonomy of Arts Interventions for People Living with Dementia
Director of Studies Tom Dening (University of Nottingham), co-supervisor Victoria Tischler (University of Nottingham/Surrey), PhD advisor Claire Garabedian (University of Worcester).
Arts interventions are employed widely and successfully around the world to enhance the care and wellbeing of those living with dementia. Examples include singing groups, craft and drawing sessions, dance classes and shared reading. However, there is currently no consensus on the definition and description of these interventions. Developing a common language of classification will illustrate the rationale for different creative approaches and priorities, support the evaluation and improvement of arts interventions, and enable their benefits and impact to be communicated more effectively.
Taxonomy – the classification of species – is a term borrowed from the world of Biology. As a taxonomist might trek through a jungle in search of common or rare specimens, this PhD project will similarly attempt to collect, name and make sense of the many types of arts activity that exist around the world for people with dementia.
This study is an iterative enquiry using elements of Realist methodology. It includes a series of stakeholder focus groups, Nominal Group Technique workshops and a Delphi Study to incorporate the lived expert experience of carers, artists, practitioners and care staff.
Emily was awarded a scholarship to attend the 2016 Memory Bridge dementia care training retreat in Indiana, USA, and she has been awarded an INTERDEM Academy fellowship to undertake a music therapy case study in Denmark at Aalborg University in 2017.
Emily has a BA in English Literature from the University of York and an MA in Contemporary European Studies awarded by the University of Bath following study at Universities in Seattle, Vancouver and Paris. She is alumni of the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme having completed placements at a large Acute Trust, the Department of Health and a Clinical Commissioning Group. Emily has an MSc in Leadership and Service Improvement. Before starting the PhD, she was working as a service improvement manager in the area of primary care transformation. Emily is a Grade 8 singer and enjoys volunteering for her local ‘Singing for the Brain’ group. Emily was awarded her PhD in 2019.