Effects of an Art Program on Language Expression in Dementia
Haduch, Megan M.,1994--
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Dementia is an umbrella term for a number of neurodegenerative processes affecting multiple aspects of an individual’s life and significantly impacting cognitive skills, including memory, attention, and executive function (Howland, 2014). Although pharmacological treatments (for example, acetylcholinesterase inhibitors) exist, these are able to manage symptoms only, with nominal effects on the degenerative processes. Therefore, behavioral management and enhancing quality of life are paramount (Emre & Hanagasi, 1999). Researchers observed the impact of participation in a structured weekly art program on indicators of cognition, communication, and quality of life for individuals with mild to moderate dementia living in this care facility. Researchers observed and collected data using an observation tool while residents are painting. All sessions were both video- and audio-recorded for off-line analysis. Offline data was recorded on an observational tool designed to examine indicators of communication, cognition, and affect including positive/negative words used, attention, interest, self-esteem, and reminiscence. My portion of this project focused heavily on language transcription analyses using Systematic Analysis of Language Transcripts (SALT) software. (Salt Software, 2016). After transcribing the participants’ language samples, SALT has aided in the analyses of communication errors. It shows the targeted speakers strengths and weaknesses. The software allowed us to hone in on areas of concern, which allowed better interpretation of how participant language use has, if at all, changed (Salt Software, 2016).