Development and Evaluation of a Creative Expression Intervention Programme for People with Dementia in China

  • Hong Li

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Health (DHealth)


Aim: The aim of this study was to develop and evaluate an evidence-based creative expression therapy for Chinese people with dementia in hospitals, LTC settings and household. Background: Creative expression (CE) has been shown to be effective for engagement of both people with dementia and carers to communicate in the USA. However, there are limited cross-cultural studies of psychological therapy of people with dementia in China. Method: The overall research strategy is a mixed method. To develop standard CE programme, action research was conducted by three sequential sessions in the geriatric wards, long term care institution and patients’ homes respectively. 7rounds of action research cycle including plan, action, observation, reflective discussion was complemented and 31 people with dementia received CE intervention and evaluating by means of observation, semi-structure interview. The following evaluation research is a controlled trial for people with dementia in LCT settings and hospitals. 91 cases of people with dementia were recruited and divided into two groups. While a series of social contact activities were conducted on the 48 cases control group, the revised CE intervention carried out on the 43 cases test group, both twice weekly for 6 weeks. The primary outcome was measured by MMSE、QOL-AD、CSDD and SFACS in week 0, week 7, week 10. Findings For the social communication and communication of basic needs in SFACS score, pleasure and general alertness mood by OERS, the test group presented significantly better effect than the control group (P<0.05). Although both group had a decline effect on CSDD score, the test group were maintaining lower 1month after intervention (P<0.05). Thus the revised CE programme may improve the communication ability and alleviate depression of people with dementia significantly .However, although the quality of life is less affected, it showed a rising tendency after CE programme. Conclusions: This study added trans-cultural evidence on dementia treatment and developed a standard and effective creative expression intervention on Chinese people affected by dementia.
Date of Award1 Oct 2015
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorGordon Taylor (Supervisor)


  • People with Dementia;
  • Creative Expression;
  • Action research Non-pharmacological intervention

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