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Med Humanities 35:101-105 doi:10.1136/jmh.2009.001792
  • Original article

What training do artists need to work in healthcare settings?

  1. H Moss1,
  2. D O’Neill2
  1. 1
    Arts Office, Adelaide and Meath Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
  2. 2
    Centre for Ageing, Neurosciences and the Humanities, Trinity Centre for Health Sciences, Adelaide and Meath Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
  1. Correspondence to Professor Desmond O’Neill, Centre for Ageing, Neurosciences and the Humanities, Trinity Centre for Health Sciences, Adelaide and Meath Hospital, Dublin 24, Ireland; doneill{at}tcd.ie
  • Received 18 April 2009

Abstract

Given the increased attention paid to the development of arts in healthcare settings, the need for a formalised training framework to enable artists to work comfortably and safely in healthcare settings has become pressing. This paper sets out a review of literature and best practice regarding the training of professional artists wishing to work in healthcare settings. The authors’ research confirms the gap in the arts sector with regard to such training. Very little formal training is currently available internationally for artists wishing to work in healthcare settings outside of the arts therapies professions. There is a need for the health sector to formalise a currently ad hoc approach to employing artists in healthcare settings. There are a number of best-practice models of arts and health practice from which we can learn but relatively scant literature on course development. The arts therapies are relatively expert in the domain of using the arts in healthcare and while there are different aims and intentions to this work, it is important that any establishment of arts and health training recognises the contribution and expertise of arts therapists in the healthcare arena. A culture of mutual learning between the arts therapies and the arts and health specialists is recommended.

Footnotes

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.