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Study seeks more participants for study on aging intervention through art

Researchers at Marshall University are seeking participants aged 55 or older for the 2024 (February-April) series of their health study designed to examine the impact of visual art activities on the well-being of aging adults.

Many individuals report health benefits from participating in art activities as they age, which is generally supported by previous research. This health study, supported with funding from the Huntington Foundation, builds upon those principles to assess the impact of a community-based visual art workshop on multiple areas of health and well-being. The health assessments are essential to evaluate their art workshop/intervention, and they will use assessment tools for cognition, depression, stress, pain, social connection and loneliness.

The art workshops, the Life Bouquet, will be taught by Marshall art alumni with oversight by Sandra Reed, professor of art at Marshall. The Art and Aging study project has seats open for the third series in both Ceredo and Barboursville. Health assessments will be done throughout September, November, February and April.

The art workshops will take place in:

  • Barboursville, Feb 13 to April 2, Tuesdays 12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
  • Ceredo, Feb 14 to April 3, Wednesdays 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Participants in this art workshop / health study will create small, colorful works of art on paper to combine into a larger, expressive individual work. Participants will meet for their art workshop six times for two hours each. Participants will also learn fundamental principles of visual art, including basic color theory, how to use various art media and a method for image transfer. Participants will be encouraged to find personal meaning in their art and to share what they learn and create with others.

For more information about these schedules, visit https://jcesom.marshall.edu/research/research-study-life-bouquet. To participate, e-mail ArtAndAging@marshall.edu or call Toyama (principal investigator) at 304-696-2777 or Reed (professor of art) at 304-696-5671. Deadline for priority sign up is Aug. 11.). There is no fee to participate, and all materials are provided. Participants must be 55 or older and able to complete the informed consent independently.

Assistant Professor of Psychology Masa Toyama, Ph.D. is the principal investigator on the study, and he’ll work with a team of physician faculty from the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, in addition to Reed and Marshall art alumni as teaching artists. Graduate psychology students will conduct one-on-one confidential health assessments with participants. The project has been approved under MU IRB 2041495.