Published

My doctoral thesis research into tablet-computer based art interventions for people with dementia and their caregivers has been published. You can find the paper here, or here if you are on ResearchGate. I conducted the research with Paul Camic, Sabina Hulbert and Michael Heron. The research explored the impact of art-viewing on wellbeing, both quantitatively (with measures of happiness, wellness and interestedness built into the app) and qualitatively (through interviews I conducted with all the people who took part). As it was an exploratory study, we focussed on detailed evaluation of people’s experiences and as such the sample size was relatively small (12 pairs). The results suggest that art-viewing on a tablet computer can benefit the wellbeing of people with dementia, and have qualitative benefits for their relationships with their informal caregivers. On the path to finding those results, I learned a lot.

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Lost in transition

I recently attended the BPS joint CPD event between the Faculties of Intellectual Disabilities and for Children and Young People entitled Making the Transition. The focus was on what happens when young people with intellectual disabilities reach the transition cliff from child and young people’s services to adult services, usually at the age of eighteen. This event was especially pertinent for me, as I worked in a service for people with intellectual disabilities that transitioned from seeing people of all ages to an adults-only service when I was a trainee, which involved actually handing clients over to the new provider.

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Screens – worthy addition or wasteful addiction?

I recently attended a seminar about screen addiction led by Dr Aric Sigman. I was intrigued by the information about how excessive recreational screen-use has a detrimental impact on people, and how each new generation seems to be increasingly glued to screens. I weighed this up against the research I have looked at which aims to develop touch-screen based interventions, some of which act as cognitive prostheses for people with dementia. I wondered where we can draw a line, however arbitrary, between the benefits and the costs of the screens we surround ourselves with.

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