An increasing number of older adults face the confusion and loss that accompanies
neurocognitive disorders with diminishing capacity to communicate their distress.
Agitated behaviors may originate in communication difficulties. Art therapy transcends
verbal communication and has demonstrated efficacy in the treatment of neurocognitive
disorders. This study aimed to answer the question: Does participation in a grief art
therapy group decrease the prevalence of agitated behaviors? The Cohen-Mansfield
Agitation Inventory Short Form (CMAI) was used to compare agitation level at various
times in the study. Four grief-related directives were adapted for use with the population.
Thematic qualitative data was gleaned from verbalizations and artwork produced in
sessions and analyzed using a phenomenological approach. Some participants
experienced a decrease in agitation at the post-test. These results support further research
on the efficacy of art therapy with this population, grief expression and neurocognitive