Towards the development of a technology for art therapy and dementia: definition of needs and design constraints

Alex Mihailidis, Scott Blunsden, Jennifer Boger, Brandi Richards, Krists Zutis, Laurel Young, Jesse Hoey

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    37 Citations (Scopus)


    Art therapy is a growing field of interest in the care and maintenance of quality of life for persons with dementia. This paper describes research that had arts therapists participate in the identification of desirable features and functionalities of a computer-based tool for use in arts therapy with older adults who have dementia. The study targets the needs of art therapists and their clients, with the eventual aim of creating devices or software tools that will enhance art therapists' work with persons who have dementia. This paper describes the first two phases of the study: a multi-national survey, and the development of prototype devices based on the survey's results. First, results from the survey of creative arts therapists are presented along with an analysis of needs, practices, and ideas about technology. The paper then presents the three prototypes of potential art therapy technologies that were developed based on the findings from the survey. This research shows both a need for technological solutions in the domain of art therapy for persons with dementia, as well as a general acceptance and enthusiasm for technology as a clinical tool for practicing creative arts therapies.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)293-300
    Number of pages8
    JournalArts in Psychotherapy
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2010


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