“Art, Colors, and Emotions” Treatment (ACE-t): A Pilot Study on the Efficacy of an Art-Based Intervention for People With Alzheimer’s Disease

Federica Savazzi, Sara Isernia, Elisabetta Farina, Raffaella Fioravanti, Alessandra D’Amico, Francesca Lea Saibene, Marco Rabuffetti, Gabriella Gilli, Margherita Alberoni, Raffaello Nemni, Francesca Baglio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Increasing evidence suggests that non-pharmacological therapies impact on neuropsychiatric symptoms and quality of life in people with Alzheimer’s disease. Among these, art-based interventions seem particularly suitable for elders’ rehabilitation as they act both on cognitive functions and quality of life. However, their benefits are not yet appropriately explored. The main aim of this quasi-experimental study was to test the feasibility and the likely efficacy of a novel multi-dimensional visual art intervention for people with Alzheimer’s disease (PWAD), named Art, Colors, and Emotions treatment (ACE-t). A group of PWAD (N = 10) was recruited from the Memory Clinic of Don Gnocchi Foundation to take part in the ACE-t. A historical control group that followed a usual care program (N = 10) was used for comparison. We considered both feasibility output (adherence and acceptability) and efficacy outcome measures (neuropsychological and neurobehavioral scales). We observed a good adherence to and acceptability of the ACE-t. The following significant intervention-related changes were also observed in ACE-t with respect to usual care: improvement in general cognition, as assessed with the Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment Scale–Cognitive, amelioration in language, and in executive functions, and reduction in Neuropsychiatric Inventory Scale score. In conclusion, ACE-t could be considered as a suitable intervention for the rehabilitation of PWAD, with positive effects on the cognitive and the behavioral status. ACE is a promising new art-based intervention that merits further research, including confirmatory trials of our preliminary results.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1467
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Publication statusPublished - Jul 16 2020


  • acceptability
  • adherence
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • cognition
  • neurodegeneration
  • non-pharmacological intervention
  • rehabilitation
  • visual art

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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