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Int J Palliat Nurs. 2014 May;20(5):233-40.

Can art therapy reduce death anxiety and burnout in end-of-life care workers? a quasi-experimental study.

Author information

1
Lecturer, Centre on Behavioral Health, Department of Social Work and Social Administration, University of Hong Kong, 2/F Hong Kong Jockey Club Building for Interdisciplinary Research, 5 Sassoon Road, Pokfulam, Hong Kong.
2
Research Assistant Professor, Sau Po Centre on Aging, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.
3
Honorary Program Adviser, The Society for the Promotion of Hospice Care, Hong Kong, and College Senior Lecturer, HKUSPACE Community College, Hong Kong.
4
Senior Project Manager, ExCEL3 Project of the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.
5
Education Manager, The Society for the Promotion of Hospice Care, Hong Kong.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The need for empathy and the difficulties of coping with mortality when caring for the dying and the bereaved can cause psychological, emotional, and spiritual strain.

OBJECTIVE:

The aim of this study was to examine the effectiveness of art-therapy-based supervision in reducing burnout and death anxiety among end-of-life care workers in Hong Kong.

METHODS:

Through a quasi-experimental design, 69 participants enrolled in a 6-week, 18-hour art-therapy-based supervision group, and another 63 enrolled in a 3-day, 18-hour standard skills-based supervision group (n=132). Pre- and post-intervention assessments were carried out with three outcome measures: the Maslach Burnout Inventory-General Survey, the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire, and the Death Attitude Profile-Revised. The data was analysed using paired sample t-tests.

RESULTS:

Significant reductions in exhaustion and death anxiety and significant increases in emotional awareness were observed for participants in the art-therapy-based supervision group.

CONCLUSION:

This study provides preliminary evidence that art-therapy-based supervision for end-of-life care workers can reduce burnout by enhancing emotional awareness and regulation, fostering meaning-making, and promoting reflection on death.

PMID:
24852030
DOI:
10.12968/ijpn.2014.20.5.233
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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