Effects of art courses on older adults
Authors: Liang-Ming Jia, Fang-Wu Tung
Abstract: With the development of creative aging, art courses are seen as an important way to improve the physical and mental health of older adults. This study designed and developed two art courses (visual art, the association of colors and music) to understand their effects on older adults, including mood and participation experiences. A pretest-posttest by questionnaire (the Mood Assessment Scale) and participants’ feedback were adopted. The two art courses were conducted in two care stations in Taiwan. Thirty-two adults aged 50-90 participated in the two courses. The research team conducted paired sample t tests on the results of the questionnaire. The results showed no significant difference in the participants’ moods in the visual art course (p = 0.169). However, there was significant improvement in the associating colors and music course (p = 0.001), with a score of 4.28 (0.63) increasing to 4.75 (0.51). Concerning the feedback provided by the participants, this study found that course development with stakeholders’ communication helped develop a user-friendly course and that independent creation (relatively low difficulty) stimulated a sense of accomplishment for the older adults. On the other hand, the multi-sensory experience of the course and the group creation could enrich the course experience of older adults and positively impact their mood. It is hoped that the results can provide empirical and practical experience for designing future art courses for older adults.
Keywords: Art courses, Mood of older adults, Visual art, Association of colors and music
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