Art Activities in Long-Term Care: A Scoping Review

Evelyne Durocher, Janet Njelesani, Emily Crosby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Outcomes of using art in therapy overlap with goals of occupational therapy with older adults in long-term care, which include improving and maintaining health and well-being through engagement in occupations. There is a lack of evidence about how art activities could complement or inform occupational therapy. Purpose: The purpose of this scoping review is to map existing literature about how art activities are used in long-term care. Methods: Six electronic databases were searched. Fourteen studies met inclusion criteria and were analyzed to identify patterns and discrepancies. Findings: The analysis suggests art activities can contribute to well-being by improving mood, promoting communication and reminiscence, and supporting the development and deepening of social relationships. Implications: Occupational therapists should consider incorporating art activities as these offer therapeutic benefits and can be adapted to individual strengths and preferred type and level of participation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-43
Number of pages8
JournalCanadian Journal of Occupational Therapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2022


  • Aged
  • Art practice
  • Art therapy
  • Expressive arts‌
  • Occupational therapy‌
  • Older adults
  • Residential facilities
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Humans
  • Long-Term Care
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Communication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Occupational Therapy


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