Date of Award

Spring 5-5-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

MAE - Master of Arts in Expressive Therapies


Expressive Therapies


Dr. Angelle Cook, PhD, RDT/BCT


The onset of dementia and resulting adjustment of the relationship between the person with dementia (PWD) and their family caregiver can result in stress and strain for both individuals. This relational adjustment, and the stressors caused by the symptoms of dementia can also lead to relational strain. Although research on the use of the arts with PWD and the use of the arts with caregivers exists, as well as research on various interventions with the caregiving dyad, research on the use of the arts specifically with the caregiving dyad is minimal. This paper reviewed the current state of the literature on arts-based interventions with the caregiving dyad. Though current theoretical bases were rarely stated, the articles seemed to be based in positive psychology and strengths-based models. One article also mentioned a theoretical base in dignity therapy, an approach designed for use with those diagnosed with a terminal illness. The articles primarily focused on the use of music and studio art, though other articles were found on the use of dance, photos, and storytelling. The articles demonstrated generally positive quantitative and qualitative results. However, the studies were lacking in sample size, randomized-control trials, and consensus on quantitative outcomes measured. Further research on the arts with the caregiving dyad would benefit from a larger quantity of research overall, as well as the use of other modalities as yet untouched. Further research should also be careful to have greater sample sizes, more randomized-control trials, greater homogeneity in the outcome measures used, analysis of long-term effectiveness, and richer description of the interventions used.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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