Date of Award


Degree Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Jane Slayton

Second Advisor

Holly Grieves


Occupational therapy (OT) was founded during the Arts and Crafts and Moral Treatment Movement to assist veterans in acclimating to their communities after discharge. While arts and crafts were initially a large part of OT, after the paradigm shift to the medical model in the 1960s, art was replaced by technology and removed from the OT curriculum and ACOTE standards. As OT continued to grow as a profession, art shifted from being part of the psychodynamic approach to being utilized to gather information and foster relationships. While art is an activity that can span across ages, there is a lack of current research in OT regarding art and older adults, namely dementia patients. Therefore, the purpose of this DCE was to evaluate the effects of regular participation in an art-based intervention program on the quality of life of older adults diagnosed with early-stage dementia. This 11-week program included 33 unique art-based activities as well as weekly assessments using the WHOQOL-BREF. Initially, participants reported a moderate to low quality of life, but as the program progressed, they began reporting a moderate to high quality of life, increasing the significance of the data obtained.

Available for download on Thursday, May 29, 2025