Implementing an Art-based Life Review Program for Elderly Women

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Anderson, Kaaren
Master of Arts in Art Therapy
To date there is little research about art-based life review programs to promote integration of life experiences and changes unique to later life. A personal identity built on roles fulfilled or factors such as one’s appearance, home, or belongings may be at-risk for crisis if these factors change or are removed. Unresolved personal conflicts and an inability to integrate life experiences may result in emotional distress and negatively impact quality of life. This distress may manifest as depression, anxiety, social withdrawal, or diminished physical functioning. This pilot research study used semi-structured interviews, artwork created during sessions, the Geriatric Depression Scale: Short Form, and the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale to examine the effect of an art-based life review. It was anticipated that by examining the data gathered during the art-based life review program, results would show the program had a beneficial impact on the participants’ perceived quality of life.