The development of independence of people living with dementia while performing an artistic painting activity

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Eduardo González Cabañes
Penelope L. Kuhn
Sara Ortega-Merino
Ana M. Ullán de la Fuente
Lawrence Herringer
Shane Price
Carla Saldaña
Lucy Madden
Anna Bartel
Estela Rojo-Hernández


This study explored the practice and spacing-of-practice effects in people living with dementia during an artistic painting activity. The video recordings of 23 participants were systematically observed during their first and fourth session of the activity. Improvements in independence, engagement, and well/ill-being expressions were analyzed from the first to the fourth session. Moreover, it was analyzed whether a group who had practiced three times a week (n = 12) improved more than a group who had practiced once a week (n = 13). Participants became more independent as they practiced, but the spacing of the sessions did not show any significant effect. Participants with severe dementia showed greater independence improvements than participants with mild to moderate dementia, although they required significantly more assistance throughout the entire study. The positive rates in active engagement and well/ill-being expressions suggest that artistic painting activities promote the motivation and well-being of participants, including those in the severe stage of dementia.


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González Cabañes, E., Kuhn, P. L., Ortega-Merino, S., Ullán de la Fuente, A. M., Herringer, L., Price, S., Saldaña, C., Madden, L., Bartel, A., & Rojo-Hernández, E. (2022). The development of independence of people living with dementia while performing an artistic painting activity. Psychology, Society & Education, 14(2), 29–38.


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