Engaging heARTS: Developing an arts-based curriculum to enhance compassion and creativity in healthcare
Keywords:compassion, creativity, healthcare curriculum
In 2014-15 Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS), with supportive funding from the Ontario Arts Council, partnered with a local group of professional artists to develop a curriculum called Awakening Your Creative Power: a seminar series on creativity, compassion and play. In order to understand the feasibility and impact of this arts-based curriculum for healthcare personnel working within a hospital, HHS undertook a comprehensive program evaluation. Input from participants who attended the course was obtained in three ways: (1) weekly evaluation forms at the end of each session (2) a final evaluation that asked questions about the overall seminar series, and (3) a focus group discussion held 2 weeks after the seminar series ended.
This paper reports on the outcomes of the evaluation and the evolution of the curriculum over the past 3 years, including its impacts on both participants and the arts partners. The evaluation data demonstrate that the course was successful in meeting its stated objectives which include: enhancing interpersonal skills, fostering self-reflection, deepening compassion, cultivating resilience, recognizing creative potential, applying intention and coping with daily stresses through the power of play. In addition, the course also: increased self-awareness, fostered a sense of community, emphasized the value of creativity for its own sake, empowered participants, provided participants with a sense of accomplishment and made participants feel valued by the institution. The paper concludes with some reflections on the potential of engaging arts professionals in health professional education.
How to Cite
Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal. Creative Comons 4.0 CC-BY
Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).