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Br J Nurs. 2002 Mar 14-27;11(5):335-41.

Developing the use of poetry within healthcare culture.

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Centre for Nurse Practice Research and Development, The Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, USA.


While the visual arts are often given consideration as an important feature of healthcare environments, the literary arts remain an underdeveloped resource. This article describes recent nurse-initiated developments in Aberdeen which attempt to integrate poetry into the culture of hospitals so that patients, visitors and staff can be involved. In particular, the 'Poem Post' project is described. This project makes a selection of short poems available on postcards in wall-mounted racks within local hospitals, and incorporates a facility for feedback of comments and new poems. Feedback has been generally very positive and over 100 new poems have been submitted to the project. Issues arising from evaluation of the project are discussed, and lessons learnt from the experience are reviewed in order to encourage nurses to consider the possibilities that poetry can offer in the workplace.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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