Objective: This study aims to investigate the effect of an integrated intervention of art activities and Qigong exercise on the well-being of older adults in nursing homes in Indonesia.Method: We employed a randomized controlled trial with 4 specific groups, i.e. art, Qigong, integration of art and Qigong, and control group. A total of 267 participants aged 50 years or older were recruited from 9 nursing homes in Jakarta, Indonesia. The participants were randomly allocated to one of the four groups, attending two intervention sessions per week for eight weeks (16 sessions), lasting 90 minutes each. Measurements were administered at baseline (T0) and post-intervention (T1). The primary outcome was well-being (WHOQOL-Bref) and secondary outcomes were satisfaction with life (SWLS), depression (BDI-II), and health status (SF-36).Results: The art intervention had a significant positive effect on well-being, in particular in the domain of social relations. It also led to a decrease in depressive symptoms, as did the integration intervention. No significant effects were visible in the Qigong group nor in the integrated intervention compared to either art or Qigong alone.Conclusion: Interventions such as art programs and an integration of art and Qigong may give psychological benefits to older adults. Yet, results of the study need to be interpreted with caution and need to be replicated. A qualitative approach would be welcome to get an in-depth understanding of why art intervention is especially beneficial. (Trial registration: Clinicaltrials.gov NCT02957773, registered 28 September 2016).
Keywords: Art; depression; older adults; qigong; well-being.