Social Art Activities in a Nursing Home: A Pilot Study in Indonesia

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R. Roswiyani, Tarumanagara University, Indonesia
Monty P. Satiadarma, Tarumanagara University, Indonesia
Jan Spijker, Radboud University, Netherlands
Cilia L. M. Witteman, Radboud University, Netherlands
Published: March 2016

Citation: Roswiyani, R., Satiadarma, M. P., Spijker, J., & Witteman, C. L. M. (2016). Social Art Activities in a Nursing Home: A Pilot Study in Indonesia. IAFOR Journal of Psychology & the Behavioral Sciences, 2(1).


This pilot study investigates the feasibility, acceptability and the effectiveness of social art activities for reducing symptoms of depression of Indonesian elderly people who live in a nursing home. Sixteen depressed elderly people with ages ranging from 65 to 85 years old were selected randomly in a nursing home to join 12 sessions of a-90 minute of activities twice a week. There were two groups, one was a social art group (AG, N=12) and another was a daily regular activities/control group (CG, N=4). The sessions were held from October 1st, 2013 to January 29th, 2014. First, the participants completed pre and post measures of symptoms of depression (Geriatric Depression Scale 15-item), well-being (The Satisfaction with Life Scale), and cognitive functioning (the Mini-Mental State Examination). To explore the feasibility and acceptability, we conducted observations during the activities and interviews afterwards. Repeated measures revealed no significant between-group differences regarding depressive symptoms, well-being and cognitive function. The AG tended to have a decrease in the depressive scores and an increase in well-being scores from pre- to posttest, whereas CG scores remained the same. There were no changes in the scores of cognitive function in both groups. The observations and interviews showed that the participants were interested in the activities and there were positive changes in their emotional expression, liveliness, cooperation, and communication with the group members. They were willing to be involved in the next social art activities. We conclude that these activities can be considered to be feasible and acceptable for depressed elderly people who live in a nursing home in Indonesia.


elderly people, depression, social art activity, nursing home