A pilot evaluation of the Arts for Life project in end-of-life care

Gallagher, Ann (2008) A pilot evaluation of the Arts for Life project in end-of-life care. Nursing Standard, 22(50), pp. 42-46. ISSN (print) 0029-6570

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AIMS: To explore and evaluate the experience of the 'Arts for Life' project among patients or residents with terminal illness in nursing homes and the community, their relatives and practitioners. METHOD: Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with five patients/residents and two relatives. Five practitioners including a music therapist and a digital artist were involved in the study. FINDINGS: The evaluation discusses the perceived benefits and challenges of the Arts for Life project from the perspectives of a small sample of patients/residents, relatives, nurses and arts facilitators. The findings suggested that the Arts for Life project provided opportunities for participants to express their creativity and individuality. A range of benefits was identified. Participants described their involvement in the project as providing a means of escapism, relief from pain and anxiety, and as helping them to engage with loss. CONCLUSION: The findings should be interpreted with caution as a result of the small sample size. The evaluation suggests that people with different diagnoses benefit in different ways from participation in the arts. An understanding of the role of the arts enables nurses to appreciate different responses to end-of-life care. Larger scale research is required with focused evaluation objectives to explore further the issues raised.

Item Type: Article
Research Area: Nursing and midwifery
Faculty, School or Research Centre: Faculty of Health and Social Care Sciences (until 2013)
Depositing User: Automatic Import Agent
Date Deposited: 08 Feb 2010 14:14
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2010 14:14
URI: http://eprints.kingston.ac.uk/id/eprint/6996

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