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Arts-based interventions to promote transition outcomes for young people with long-term conditions: A review

Joanne Callinan and Prof. Imelda Coyne

This paper by Joanne Callinan and Prof. Imelda Coyne, School of Nursing & Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin, was commissioned by Helium Arts and published in the peer-reviewed journal ‘Chronic Illness’ in July 2018. Callinan and Coyne conducted a systematic review of arts-based interventions promoting transition from paediatric to adult services for young people with long-term conditions and explored their effectiveness.

‘These studies showed the potential of arts-based interventions to impact positively on the lives of children and adolescents with long-term conditions particularly in relation to self-esteem, confidence and self-expression.’ (Poster, Children’s Research Network Conference 2016)

Arts-based interventions included studies of young people who were actively participating in the intervention rather than passive observers. Visual arts interventions included film/video production, time-based media, photography, animation, sculpture, audio, installation, sound recordings, painting, textiles, print, mixed media, multimedia. Arts-based interventions included creative writing, poetry, dance, choreography and storytelling.

All outcome measures relevant to transition and any chronic condition were included: self-care knowledge and skills, autonomy, continuity of care, adherence to treatment and attendance at appointments.

Seven studies reported arts-based interventions promoting outcomes that are relevant to transition. These studies showed that arts-based interventions may influence the self-esteem, confidence and self-expression of young people with long-term conditions. However, there is a need for further research that incorporates objective measurements or validated tools to assess outcomes relevant to the transition process.

Access to the Systematic Review:

The findings were presented as a Poster at the Children’s Research Network Conference in December 2016.

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