Projecting a Critique of Stigma Associated With Dementia on Screen: The Impact of a Canadian Film on the Importance of Relational Caring in the Community. By: Kontos, Pia; Grigorovich, Alisa; Dupuis, Sherry L; Colobong, Romeo; Gray, Julia; Jonas-Simpson, Christine and Serota, Alexine. 2024. Gerontologist. Vol. 64 Issue 2, p1-11.

Background and Objectives Relational caring has the capacity to reduce stigma associated with dementia by shifting the focus from dysfunction and behavior management, to attending to the interdependencies and reciprocities that underpin caring relationships, and making explicit the centrality of relationships to quality care, growth, and quality of life. Education, particularly arts-based approaches, has been identified as a key strategy to decrease stigma. Yet rarely are the arts utilized in educational initiatives, and particularly so in community care settings. With an interest in redressing this, our team evaluated the impact of a Canadian filmed research-based drama— Cracked: new light on dementia —about stigma associated with people living with dementia and their families. Research Design and Methods We conducted interviews with family carers of people living with dementia and formal care providers affiliated with community-based dementia care, and also the general public at 3 and 8 months postscreening. ResultsOur analysis of participants’ perceptions/experiences illustrates the effectiveness of Cracked in reducing stigma by demonstrating changes in the understanding of dementia and changes in practice. Our analysis also includes attention to how the film, as a form of cultural production, deepened engagement and facilitated transformation. Discussion and Implications Our evaluation of Cracked demonstrates that it is an effective strategy for decreasing the stigma associated with dementia by promoting relational caring. It also importantly contributes to the theoretical literature that supports film-based approaches to stigma reduction.