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Forgetting the machine: patients' experiences of engaging in artwork while on renal dialysis

Rowe, Nick and Jones, Colin H. and Seeger, Lesley and Greaves, Gill and Holman, Cathy and Turner, Helen (2011) Forgetting the machine: patients' experiences of engaging in artwork while on renal dialysis. Journal of Applied Arts & Health, 2 (1). pp. 57-72.

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Abstract

Patients on hospital haemodialysis spend many hours a week away from their home, undergoing a treatment that is time consuming and physically and mentally draining. Given the often unpleasant experience of dialysis, it is not surprising that art has been one of the possible interventions employed. This study investigates an art project led by a professional artist at the renal dialysis unit at York Hospital. Twelve patients involved in the project participated in semi-structured interviews. Our findings suggest that while 'absorbed' in art making, patients are for a time able to 'forget the dialysis machine' and the reality of their illness. The study finds that engagement in artwork is more than just a distraction from the uncomfortable experience of dialysis. Art making engages patients intellectually, creatively and socially. It gives purpose to the time on dialysis, a sense of contributing to a joint task and promotes social interaction.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
DOI: 10.1386/jaah.2.1.57_1
Subjects: N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
School/Department: School of Performance & Media Production
URI: http://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/547

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