Healthcare and the Arts: An Interdisciplinary collaboration

Mr Ian Walsh, Senior Lecturer, School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, Queen’s University Belfast

Join the EBN Twitter Chat on Wednesday the 5th June 2019, 8-9pm UK time which will be hosted by Mr Ian Walsh, Senior Lecturer, School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, Queen’s University Belfast. It will focus on arts in healthcare and explore the intersection between both.
Participating in the Twitter chat requires a Twitter account; if you do not already have one you can create an account at Once you have an account contributing is straightforward, you can follow the discussion by searching links to #ebnjc (the EBN chat hash tag) and contribute by sending a tweet (tweets are text messages currently limited to 140 characters), you need to add #ebnjc to your tweet as this allows everyone taking part to view your tweets.
The relationship between arts and healthcare has long been recognised, yet remains poorly defined. Both arenas benefit from interaction and collaboration, with potential to promote well-being and improve quality of life. The utility of arts-based innovation and intervention in practice and education is encouraged from an Arts Council perspective who stipulate that ‘good arts and health practice is characterised by a clear artistic vision, goals and outcomes’.


It is clear that the arts bestow benefit in healthcare. Indeed, we recently featured in a newspaper story detailing the impact of a Renal Arts Group on patient outcomes and PhD student Claire Carswell has completed a study exploring the use of an arts based intervention in a kidney dialysis unit with very positive results.
Patients who participated in the study, produced some excellent art work and asked for the implementation of artwork in the unit to continue once the study was completed.
If healthcare and the arts are to continue to work closely together, it is imperative that we are clear about the benefits of this collaboration for artists. This twitter chat aims to explore several questions:
a) What are the views of artists, their perceptions of, and attitudes to, arts based interventions in healthcare?
b) What does healthcare have to offer the arts?
c) Where does interdisciplinary collaboration (between arts, humanities and healthcare) differ from interprofessional collaboration (between healthcare professionals)
d) How does such interdisciplinary collaboration sit within the wider context of interconnectedness and humanism

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