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This article reports about the beneficial effects of creative arts therapy on memory and cognition for patients with Korsakoff Syndrome, residing in a long term care facility specialized in the care of people with Korsakoff. Creative arts therapy is an umbrella term for healthcare professions who use the creative and expressive process of art-making to improve and enhance the psychological and social well-being of individuals of all ages and health conditions. It is a non-pharmaceutical intervention, using the power of the experience by doing rather than by speaking about the struggles in daily life.
There is still little knowledge on how creative arts therapy may contribute to improving the quality of life of patients with Korsakoff, or reducing the impairments they suffer.
In this article several case examples from the field of creative arts therapy, specifically music therapy, arts therapy and dance/movement-therapy, are described. These case examples portrait different persons with Kosakoff who benefit greatly from creative arts therapy while they are struggling with their physical and mental problems.
Typical characteristics of persons suffering from Korsakoff are memory impairment, confabulation and problems with executive functions, caused by their chronic alcohol abuse which led to developing Korsakoff. The aim of this article is to provide greater insight into how to treat patients with Korsakoff through creative arts therapy. The different case vignettes, describing the authors lived experiences, give the reader insight in the real-world context in which creative arts therapy is practiced. By giving the patients a face and a voice and showing their artistic skills, we hope to break the stigma that is chasing them: the low-life-drunks who made a big mess of their life.
The Medical Research Archives grants authors the right to publish and reproduce the unrevised contribution in whole or in part at any time and in any form for any scholarly non-commercial purpose with the condition that all publications of the contribution include a full citation to the journal as published by the Medical Research Archives.
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