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Int J Qual Stud Health Well-being. 2017 Dec;12(1):1333898. doi: 10.1080/17482631.2017.1333898.

Arts as an ecological method to enhance quality of work experience of healthcare staff: a phenomenological-hermeneutic study.

Author information

a Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences , Uppsala University , Uppsala , Sweden.
b Center for Social Sustainability, Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society , Department of Clinical Neuroscience Karolinska Institutet , Stockholm , Sweden.
c Department of Neurobiology , Care Sciences and Society, Division of physiotherapy , Karolinska Institutet , Solna , Sweden.
d Stockholm County Council, Academic Primary Care Center , CEFAM , Sweden.
e Charlotte B and Jack J. Spitzer Department of Social Work , Ben-Gurion University of the Negev , Beer-Sheva , Israel.


This paper explores the impact of self-chosen arts-based recreational activities, as opposed to the traditional arts therapy activities, on the well-being of healthcare providers. Three qualitative case studies of programs in which arts-based activities were used to work with healthcare providers, lasting for 10 weeks each, are phenomenological-hermeneutically evaluated using interviews and focus groups. The findings show what we refer to as an "ecological" ripple of effects: (1) the arts-based activities helped to reduce individual stress and to enhance mood over time, (2) the activities helped to transform workplace relationships within wards, and (3) the arts humanized the overall work climate in the healthcare setting. These effects go beyond those of using the art production as a strategy for stress reduction and imply potential for a more encompassing role for the arts within healthcare.


Arts-based activities; focus groups; healthcare worker; humanizing work-climate; phenomenological-hermeneutic

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