Art in health: an integrated approach to health education in a rural/remote setting

Art in health: an integrated approach to health education in a rural/remote setting Conference Paper

11th National Rural Health Conference: Rural and remote Australia: the heart of a healthy nation

  • Author(s): Paul Bennett, Keryn Bolte, David Garne, Honor Beck
  • Published: 2011

Abstract: Aim: This paper reports on the evaluation of the art in health component of the ENRICH (Enhanced Rural Remote Inter-professional Cultural Health) program. The ENRICH program is part of the Extended Clinical Placement Program (ECPP). ECPP was developed and implemented by the Broken Hill University Department of Rural Health (BHUDRH), University of Sydney. ENRICH provides inter-professional learning opportunities for health science students of all disciplines to participate in multidisciplinary learning that compliments the requirements of the individual student’s curricula. Art in health sessions are facilitated by local artists in the far west region of New South Wales (NSW), and to date have included life drawing, photography and Aboriginal art. The aim of the art in health sessions were to measure the impact on student’s confidence levels, rapport establishment and communication skills when dealing with patients. Methods: Qualitative and quantitative data was collected using a post evaluation survey for each ‘Art in Health’ session (N = 4 in 2010). Participants consisted of health science students from a range of disciplines that were on placement in far west NSW. The authors analysed data using Survey Monkey and Nvivo8 qualitative analysis software. Relevance: Art in health is a relatively unexplored area within the health agenda. This program enables health science students the opportunity to maximise their learning experience during placement in a rural/remote setting. Published literature indicates the benefits of using art to enhance the healing process across a range of illnesses and diseases processes including Indigenous populations. Art in health sessions enhance health science student’s ability to recognise and appreciate the non-clinical aspects of healing, and broaden their appreciation of the holistic nature of health care. Results: Results from evaluations of the art in health component of the ENRICH program will be reported in full at the conference. To date the response has been very positive for participants, with 56% of participants being medical, 33% allied health and 11% nursing. All participants agreed that the workshops were relevant to their practice, and identified ways that art in health could be incorporated into their practice. Conclusions: This collaborative effort between art and health in far west NSW is unique in Australia and leads the way in developing well-rounded health practitioners that recognise the non-clinical aspects of health have a place in self-resilience and the health and wellbeing of their clients.

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Paul Bennett, Keryn Bolte, David Garne, Honor Beck, 2011, Art in health: an integrated approach to health education in a rural/remote setting, Conference Paper, viewed 16 August 2022, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=3093.

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