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Enjoyable, engaging and individualised: a concept analysis of meaningful activity for older adults with dementia


Tierney, L and Beattie, E, Enjoyable, engaging and individualised: a concept analysis of meaningful activity for older adults with dementia, International Journal of Older People Nursing, 15, (2) Article e12306. ISSN 1748-3743 (2020) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2020 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

DOI: doi:10.1111/opn.12306


Aim: The term "meaningful activity" is widely used in policy, practice and the research literature. However, definition and use of the term is unclear and inconsistent. A concept analysis was conducted to explore the fundamental attributes that make an activity meaningful for older adults with dementia and propose a conceptual model for understanding "meaningful activity" in this population.

Methods: This study followed Walker and Avant's method of concept analysis. Searches were conducted in the Scopus, MEDLINE, CINAHL, PubMed, Academic Search Elite and Web of Science databases for literature using the term "meaningful activity." Papers published before 1996 were excluded.

Results: Twenty-nine papers concerned with "meaningful activity" were analysed. This analysis identified five attributes that make activities meaningful for people with dementia: (a) enjoyable; (b) suited to the individual's skills, abilities and preferences; (c) related to personally relevant goals; (d) engaging; and (e) related to an aspect of identity. The conceptual model illustrates how individual and opportunity factors influence participation in "meaningful activity" and the consequences of this participation as discussed in the existing literature.

Conclusion: The findings of this concept analysis provide insight into what characteristics make an activity meaningful. Specific activities that are meaningful are different for each person and participation in personally 'meaningful activities' has the potential to positively impact the lives of people with dementia.

Implications For Practice: This understanding of 'meaningful activity' can be used by those involved in research, planning or delivery of services and care for people with dementia to encourage and support participation in activities that are meaningful to individuals.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:concept analysis, dementia, meaningful activity, older adults, person-centred care
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Nursing
Research Field:Aged care nursing
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Provision of health and support services
Objective Field:Nursing
UTAS Author:Tierney, L (Mrs Laura Tierney)
ID Code:137624
Year Published:2020
Web of Science® Times Cited:4
Deposited By:Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2020-02-24
Last Modified:2021-11-10

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