ArtOnTheBrain: an inclusive evidence-based cognitive health app for older adults to promote aging at home. [FUNDER: Canadian Centre for Aging & Brain Health Innovation (CCABHI) Researcher Clinician Partnership Program].

  • Murphy, Kelly (Principal Investigator)
  • Szczepura, Ala (Co-Investigator)
  • Howard, Elizabeth (Co-Investigator)
  • Beauchet, Olivier (Co-Investigator)
  • Galea, Liisa (Co-Investigator)
  • Hogan, David (Co-Investigator)
  • Wittich, Walter (Co-Investigator)
  • Xie, Feng (Co-Investigator)

    Project: Research

    Project Details


    PROJECT FUNDING: Canadian Centre for Aging & Brain Health Innovation (CCABHI) Researcher Clinician Partnership Program (RCP2) Award. $CAN 2.6m. 
    BACKGROUND: Participating in productive and enjoyable leisure activities is associated with many health benefits in seniors (e.g., enhanced well-being, improved physical health, decreased risk of dementia, and reduced use of healthcare resources). Various barriers can make participation difficult for the frail elderly (e.g., mobility problems, travel distance, low mood), so technology can offer a solution by bringing the activity to the user. Working with intended users, technologists, designers and art partners, we have created an ArtOnTheBrain app for frail elderly (with and without cognitive decline).
    The app is designed for various devices, including tablets, and utilizes visual art as its core content. It incorporates three basic activities; learning (history of the art work), play (telling stories, word-games) and interaction with an online community of users. 
    OBJECTIVES: (i) To promote positive health outcomes for the frail elderly by providing access to a mentally and socially engaging arts-based mobile health (mhealth) solution, called ArtOnTheBrain, and measuring its effectiveness and cost-effectiveness; and (ii) to determine the flexibility required for mHealth solutions to integrate effectively within existing care plan models for these seniors. 
    HYPOTHESES: Based on quality of life (QOL) benefits reported from participatory arts interventions, we hypothesize that engagement with ArtOnTheBrain will produce similar improvements in QOL for frail elderly, driven by specific features of this type of intervention e.g., self-directed, flexible level of complexity, driven by the user. Secondary outcomes hypothesized for engagement with the intervention, include benefits to: active living, aspects of cognition, stress hormone levels, and health seeking behaviours.

    Short titleArtOnTheBrain
    Effective start/end date1/11/1730/11/20

    Collaborative partners

    • Coventry University
    • Baycrest Health Sciences (lead)
    • Harvard University
    • McGill University
    • University of British Columbia
    • University of Calgary
    • University of Montréal
    • McMaster University


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