Challenging the status quo – what outcome measures are effective for caregivers? It may not be what you think. Findings and recommendations from a recent systematic review of creative arts interventions for caregivers

Mrs Bec Watt1

1Flinders University Of South Australia, Bedford Park, Australia

The Australian healthcare system relies on 2.65 million informal caregivers to support people with a disability or frail older people. Almost half of the respondents of a recent national caregiver survey indicated they were under high levels of psychological distress and a third were highly socially isolated. Creative arts offer an engaging and motivating alternative to mainstream supports. Group creative arts interventions offer the potential for promoting connection with others and high feasibility. A systematic review has sought to determine effectiveness of group creative arts interventions for carers, with a secondary aim of discovering which outcome measures are most effective in measuring impact. This presentation will highlight the results of the systematic review with a focus on the relevance and effectiveness of both qualitative and quantitative measures. Qualitative data showed benefits for caregivers, which were influenced by group format. Quantitative data was promising but good baseline scores prevented statistically significant changes from being detected. Key recommendations are made for future research of creative arts interventions in support of caregivers regarding outcome measures and research design, which have relevance for non-creative arts approaches.


A Registered Music Therapist since 2016, Bec works primarily with adult NDIS participants. Passionate about research, she is currently studying a PhD looking at using a creative arts approach to support informal carers of adults in the community.

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