Exploring nurse and nursing student experience of using an artist-produced photobook to learn about dementia

Savannah Dodd*, Gillian Carter, Andrena Christie, Gary Mitchell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
83 Downloads (Pure)


Improving understanding about dementia in nursing is a priority area for educators and policymakers. This is due to poor professional understanding about dementia and suboptimal healthcare practice. While many educational interventions exist, there has been a paucity of research which has considered the use of artist-produced photobooks to improve knowledge and understanding about dementia. The aim of this study is to understand the impact of an artist-produced photobook on nurses’ attitudes and beliefs about dementia.

Following a thematic analysis of four focus group interviews with 22 nurses and nursing students from Northern Ireland, three themes emerged. Theme one was about how the artist-produced photobook helped participants to humanise the person living with dementia. Theme two related to how the artist-produced photobook supported participants to actively construct their own meanings about dementia based on their previous professional and personal experiences. Theme three explored how an artist-produced photobook could be successfully used to complement existing dementia education in the future.

Using an artist-produced photobook was an innovative way to learn about dementia for nurses and nursing students. The photobook functioned as a tool underpinned by arts-based pedagogy (ABP), supporting nurses to understand the person behind the dementia disease. As such, an artist-produced photobook has the potential to be a useful complementary resource for supporting professional education about dementia.
Original languageEnglish
Article number237
JournalBMC Nursing
Publication statusPublished - 25 Aug 2022


  • Nursing Education
  • Dementia
  • Dementia Education
  • Pedagogy
  • Photography
  • Photobook
  • Arts-Based Research
  • Arts-Based Interventions
  • Visual Learning
  • Person-Centred Care


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