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Improving access for patients to Creative Arts Therapy as part of a specialist interdisciplinary programme of specialist rehabilitation in Ireland in a way that supports individual rehabilitation needs and goals.

Authors:

Valerie Twomey ,

National Rehabilitation Hospital, Dublin, Ireland, IE
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Rebecca O'Connor

National Rehabilitation Hospital, Dublin, Ireland, IE
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Abstract

We are delighted here in Ireland to share with you an innovative, integrated approach to providing and improving access to Creative Arts Therapy for children and adults with acquired neurological conditions. Using the National Rehabilitation Hospital’s (NRH) Quality Improvement (QI) framework we have established the Creative Arts Therapy (CAT) Service providing access to and integration of music and art therapy to specialist rehabilitation.

Creative arts therapies are evidence-based professions using prescribed art and music-based methods to accomplish individualised clinical goals within a therapeutic relationship. Here at NRH we endeavour to integrate CAT within the existing interdisciplinary team (IDT) approach to support patients in achieving rehabilitation goals. CAT clinical interventions are designed to effect positive changes in the psychological, communication, physical, cognitive, or social functioning of individuals in a rehabilitation setting. Feedback from patients, their families and members of the IDT coupled with analysis of clinical data clearly identified the need and demand for an integrated, specialist CAT service.

Project Aim: The aim is for all NRH patients to have access to CAT as part of their comprehensive IDT programme of rehabilitation to support their individual rehabilitation needs and goals.

Project Implementation: Following a series of presentations, guidance documentation for the IDT and patients, and consultation with patients, families and other professionals a person-centred approach, where patients were empowered to engage in creating CAT interventions that met their needs, was established. Opportunities to improve patient experience of CAT were identified, for example small groups, joint IDT sessions to promote access and communication, and assessments to enhance IDT intervention. Staffing resources to support the initiative were put in place.

Outcomes: CAT therapists monitored and evaluated the service using a series of qualitative and quantitative measures, which were completed by patients, families and members of the IDT. Results show that 100% of patients ‘strongly agreed’ that receiving CAT intervention enhanced their rehabilitation and their patient experience at the NRH. 100% of professional IDT members ‘strongly agreed’ that CAT contributed to the success of IDT rehabilitation outcomes. Data also indicated an extensive increase in access for patients to creative arts therapies. 66% of all NRH admissions were referred to the service during the project. A permanent CAT service has now been established at the NRH as a result of the project, which is the only hospital based creative arts therapy service in Ireland. The project has also resulted in the permanent employment of an art therapist and an additional music therapist to allow for continued access for patients. Our model has been adopted and adapted by other post-acute and home and community-based healthcare settings in Ireland. The service also received very positive feedback from CARF (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities) with surveyors stating that ‘The creative use of the CAT service in all programmes to enhance the functional skills of persons served is innovative and demonstrates the person-centred philosophy of care. It is a true interdisciplinary treatment modality’."

How to Cite: Twomey V, O'Connor R. Improving access for patients to Creative Arts Therapy as part of a specialist interdisciplinary programme of specialist rehabilitation in Ireland in a way that supports individual rehabilitation needs and goals.. International Journal of Integrated Care. 2022;22(S3):258. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/ijic.ICIC22128
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Published on 04 Nov 2022.

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