Edge Hill University

Creative interventions for the wellbeing of healthcare staff.

Published on by Emma Perris

This study is a feasibility study evaluating a multi-levelled evidence-based creative psychological intervention developed for the recovery of NHS clinical staff affected by Covid-19. 

The study responds to the reported psychological risks of NHS staff during the pandemic and the call for action highlighted in the Lancet Psychiatry positioning paper (Holmes et al 2020). The Health and Wellbeing NHS National Framework (HEE 2018) suggests that multi-levelled, evidence-based psychological interventions are needed to address the needs of the workforce. It is expected that creative methods will support engagement, enable non-verbal opportunities for recovery and contribute towards the attractiveness, acceptability, and value of the intervention.  

The intervention was originally developed as part of the Arts for the Blues project within IAPT services for patients with depression.  In collaboration with colleagues responsible for the wellbeing of staff and service improvement in the NHS, this intervention was diversified to meet the current needs of staff affected by the pandemic.  

We did this in different ways: 

•one-off tasks/sessions to relieve pressure (level 1), 

•workshops with teams to strengthen relationships (level 2) and 

•therapy for those in greater need of psychological support (level 3). 

We used creative methods throughout the intervention such as song and creative writing, singing and music making, drawing and meditation, movement and dance, role playing and drama. 

The results suggests that creative interventions supporting the wellbeing of healthcare workers need to be considered further, for both research and implementation purposes.

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