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Using arts to enhance mental healthcare environments: Findings from qualitative research

Daykin, Norma, Byrne, Eleanor, Soteriou, Tony and O'Connor, Susan 2010. Using arts to enhance mental healthcare environments: Findings from qualitative research. Arts & Health: An International Journal for Research, Policy and Practice 2 (1) , pp. 33-46. 10.1080/17533010903031408

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This paper reports on a qualitative study of the subjective impact of a visual arts project in a Mental Health NHS Trust in England. A qualitative approach was adopted including documentary analysis, focus groups and over 50 in-depth interviews. Arts were found to help shape healing environments through four processes: modernisation; enhancing valued features; diminishing negative aspects; and creating opportunities for service users and staff. Responses to the artworks were diverse, and modernisation was sometimes perceived as diminishing staff and service users' control over the environment. Arts seemed to be strongly valued when they enhanced control and enabled service users to affirm non-stigmatised identities. Arts projects in similar settings are likely to face complex issues of control, identity and stake. A key challenge is balancing “prestige” with “authenticity.” While consensus may be difficult to achieve, the study points towards the high value that stakeholders place on arts in these settings.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Cardiff Institute of Society and Health (CISHE)
Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Uncontrolled Keywords: arts; environment; mental health; participation; qualitative research
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 1753-3015
Last Modified: 02 Dec 2021 02:05

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