QOTD: therapeutic value of objects

A project looking at the use of 'heritage' materials in hospital contexts caught my eye ...

Working with Guy Noble, UCL Hospitals (UCLH)'s Art Curator, as well as the British Museum, Oxford University Museums Service, Reading Museums Service, Islington Education Library Service and the Museum, Libraries and Archives Council, their project is designed to lead to an understanding of the potential and value of taking handling collections from museums, libraries and archives into hospitals and other healthcare organisations such as care homes....
Preliminary research conducted by Drs Chatterjee, Lanceley and Menon at UCLH showed that object handling sessions resulted in an increase in patient wellbeing and patients' perception of their health status. Further, they found that patients felt positive about the role of object handling sessions as a distraction from everyday ward life, and that sessions had a positive impact on relationships amongst staff and patients....
... Related to this, under the auspices of the interdisciplinary UCL Centre for Museums, Heritage and Material Culture (a collaboration between UCL Museums & Collections, the UCL Institute of Archaeology and UCL Anthropology), Drs Chatterjee, Beverley Butler and Professor Michael Rowlands held a workshop exploring 'Heritage and Wellbeing' on 10 December, which was the second in a series looking at the social care role of museums. Mark Watson, Heritage Officer of the Valence House Museum in Dagenham, was the seminar speaker, addressing the group on his work using loan boxes with Alzheimer's patients and in schools. This was followed by a discussion forum that explored the workshop participants' work and interests in the field of 'heritage and wellbeing'. [Object Handling Therapy - AHRC grant and book launch]

Comments: 1

Apr 11, 2009
Andy Havens

I've also read that bringing pets to hospital wards and nursing homes provides therapeutic benefit. I wouldn't have thought handling objects would do the same; very interesting.