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Knitting with my mother: Using interpretative phenomenological analysis and video to investigate the lived experience of dyadic crafting in dementia care

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This article presents findings of a Ph.D. case study that uses interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) to elicit a deep understanding of lived experience within the context of a ‘craft-encounter’ shared by an adult carer with her mother, who has dementia. Recent studies have evaluated the health and well-being benefits of participatory craft practice in community-based projects. However, a less examined site of research is the lived experience of participating in shared craft-encounters as a domiciliary based intervention for dementia care. This study elicits a nuanced understanding of lived experience of participatory textile-based craft and explores the value of working with video as an adjunct to IPA’s existing methodology as a way of attending to non-textual communication that is easily missed in the moment of occurrence. Reviewing primary-source video with participants produces additional data as a result of participants’ reflexivity and meaning-making through interpretation of video footage. The findings challenge the dominant bias that frames dementia care only in terms of losses without considering the potential gains and meanings of the dementia care experience.
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Keywords: craft; dementia; dementia care; domiciliary intervention; interpretative phenomenological analysis; knitting; mother-adult daughter dyad; video

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 0000000123240507Birkbeck College, University of London

Publication date: December 1, 2020

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  • The Journal of Arts and Communities seeks to provide a critical examination of the practices known as community or participatory arts, encompassing a field of work defined for this purpose as incorporating active creative ollaboration between artists and people in a range of communities.The journal will take a cross-artform and interdisciplinary approach,including work happening in performance, visual arts and media,writing, multimedia and collaboration involving digital technology and associated forms. In part this will create an archive that will document work which can otherwise be ephemeral
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