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PA22 The arts of connexion
  1. Jackie Brooks,
  2. Rebecca Maher,
  3. Kathy Armour and
  4. Lucinda Jarrett
  1. Marie Curie Hospice West Midlands, UK

Abstract

Background There is growing evidence that creative arts interventions improve perceived physical and mental. However, there is little research into arts interventions in relation to palliative care and the published studies in arts and health have focussed on visual arts with little attention to dance.

Aim A one year clinical audit was followed by a ten week pilot research study explored whether creative movement enabled people to feel more connected to themselves and each other, whether it supported the development of their collective voice and their ability to advocate for themselves and their peers. The service was offered on a group basis in Day Therapy and on a one-to-one basis for patients in the in patient unit.

Method Dance sessions were run weekly and evaluated at each session on a simple scale measuring connectedness to oneself and each other in the group, and the joy derived from attendance.

Results Healthcare professionals reported that the sessions offered patients a chance to reconnect with the memories of their physicality, whilst also offering an experience that proferred joy, the opportunity to participate in a social group and focussed on sharing support. A patient’s daughter who co-participated in a session reported “Two days before {my mother} died we had a movement session together; we have never felt so together as we did after that session”.

Conclusion Whilst palliative care has long recognised the arts, there are benefits to be gained from collaborating and further research is needed to understand the nature and impact of creative interventions.

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