An arts program to improve medical student attitudes towards persons with dementia

June 18, 2021


  • Daniel R. George
  • Elizabeth "Like" Lokon
  • Yue Li
  • Cheryl Dellasega

Arts-based activities may improve medical student attitudes toward persons living with dementia (PLWD) by facilitating relationships around remaining strengths, capacities, and personhood. However, research on co-creation of artwork through evidence-based programs is needed. This study evaluated student participation in a standardized, nursing home-based program called Opening Minds through Art (OMA). Since 2007, over 2000 undergraduates have been trained in OMA, with research showing positive impact on students' attitudes toward PLWD. This study hypothesized that medical students would experience increased dementia knowledge, comfort, and “liking” of older adults (i.e., “allophilia”) compared to controls.

Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 68(8), E23-E26. doi:10.1111/jgs.17338

Publication available online, subscription may be required.


  • Arts and Aging
  • Dementia