Assessing the value of offering art activities to patients and carers
Julie Burton Thyroid cancer clinical nurse specialist, Freeman Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne
Paddy Stevenson National Institute for Health Research operations manager for Newcastle biomedicine clinical research platforms, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne
Engaging in art-based projects facilitated by trained artists improves the clinical environment and enables participants to share their feelings and emotions, an evaluation of the service has found. Julie Burton and Paddy Stevenson report
Aim The aim of this study was to determine if patients who had undergone treatment and their carers perceived benefits from taking part in an art project facilitated by trained artists.
Method Semi-structured interviews were conducted with five patients and three carers, once treatment had been completed.
Findings Patients and carers felt apprehensive and fearful when attending a cancer treatment centre for the first time. Participation in art not only improved the environment but was relaxing and offered a sense of friendship, facilitated conversation and provided distraction from treatment.
Conclusion Patients and their carers should be encouraged to consider participation in art. If staff were supported to spend time engaged in these activities, it would help facilitate therapeutic relationships with patients and carers.
Cancer Nursing Practice.
9, 4, 32-37.
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