The art of medicine

Rachel Pugh, in a guardian article yesterday, highlighted how the arts are being used to support medical practitioners to develop person-centered skills:

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/nov/19/studying-arts-literature-doctors-humane-competent-mid-staffs

She notes that “80% of diagnoses depend on the patient’s story, and studying poetry or literature can enhance students’ narrative competence and improve their ability to relate to different cultures and groups.

This is consistent with recent research which highlights that the arts have the potential to change the way social services practitioners engage with individuals and also change the way in which support is delivered. It is said that engaging in a new activity – arts or otherwise – often supports staff to engage in dialogue with each other, to review and reflect on their own practice. This has often supported staff to encourage, support and motivate one another in practical situations.

IRISS are writing up the results of an online survey designed to understand the Scottish picture of the use of arts in social services. Coming soon!