Claire Craig

Journeying Through Dementia


Output: Design

Journeying Through Dementia is the first design-led research enquiry to explore the role of design in the implementation of post-diagnostic dementia support. An iterative co-design research process drew on insights from individuals with the condition and clinicians to underpin the development of a product comprising a set of curated creative tools to enable people to live well with dementia.

WHO estimates that 50 million people globally have dementia. In the absence of a cure, emphasis has been placed on the development of interventions focusing on quality of life. Post-diagnostic support, where individuals are supported to develop strategies to live well with the condition, has formed the basis of global health policy.

Whilst there has been a growing interest in the role that design-led interventions can play in promoting quality of life of people with dementia (e.g. Treadaway, 2018), to date no studies have considered the role of design in post-diagnostic support in health-care services.

Building on previous research (Craig and Mountain 2012) this new enquiry focuses on the role of design in the operationalisation of a supported self-management approach for individuals at an early stage of their dementia journey. National Education Scotland (2017) and The Health and Social Care Alliance funded the research. Staff from Fife and Aberdeenshire participated in 4 iterative co-design workshops using a thinking-through-things methodology. This culminated in a research-informed product which is the basis of the roll-out of the intervention as part of the Connecting-People-Connecting-Support dementia policy document for AHPs in Scotland.

The materials are hosted on a web-based platform Connecting-People-Connecting-Support enabling access during this present COVID pandemic.

This research has been widely disseminated through national and international conference presentations, workshops and webinars.

Research Output

Heading 3

This project contains further videos that can accessed via the full case study below.

Research Method

The design-led research sat within a broader improvement science test-and-learn methodology. 20 occupational therapists from older people’s mental health services across Fife and Aberdeenshire participated in four iterative co-design research workshops.

Key Methodologies:

Full Project Output

REF '21

To learn more about the output, methods and dissemination of this work, explore the full project submission.

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Claire Craig