The perception of patients and health professionals of involvement

Title of project: The perception of patients and health professionals of involvement in art for
people living with chronic pain
Director of Studies: Professor Michelle Briggs
Second Supervisor: Professor Mark Johnson
Overview of project
The importance of the arts in healthcare is increasingly recognised although further research is
needed to investigate the mechanisms by which arts and health programmes achieve their impact.
Pain is subjective and personal to the individual and expressed to others predominantly through
spoken language. There is an increasing recognition that an individual’s experience of pain can be
conveyed visually through art. For example, Padfield co-created with patients over 1,000
photographic images that reflected and symbolised their pain. From this material Padfield made a
pilot pack of 54 pain cards, which were trialled as a communication tool in clinical consultations at
University College London Hospital.
Link to NHS Priorities
The burden of chronic pain in the NHS is large with approximately 10 million Britons suffering pain
almost daily resulting in a major impact on their quality of life and more days off work (Reddi and
Curran 2014, Postgrad Med J 2014; 90:222-227). The role of self-management in the living well with
chronic pain is clearly documented and participation in a creating art is considered to have potential
as a non-pharmacological pain management strategy. Although the opportunities to get involved in art
making for those with chronic pain and the perception of those who work in pain services has yet to
be explored.
Link to Faculty Research Themes
This project will be delivered within the theme of Pain within the Institute of Health and Wellbeing and
supervised by Professors Briggs and Johnson from the Centre for Pain Research. The PhD project
will develop and consolidate existing clinical links with Artworks in Halifax
Outline of project including proposed timescales
The PhD project will investigate the role of art making in the lives of those with chronic pain and its
effects upon the articulation of personal narratives and individual experiences. It will also include an
exploration of the value art development can have upon management of pain and social perceptions.
It is anticipated that the project will include a systematic review, a survey of the use of art within pain
services in the UK and clinical studies to evaluate the role of art making for pain management.
Further information
To apply you must be eligible for NHS Continuing Professional Development (CPD) funding and have
the support of your line manager in writing. General enquiries should be directed by email to the
Faculty Research Director [email protected] to discuss the project further please contact
the Director of Studies
Applications should be made on line here