Competence Enhancement Program of Expressive Arts in End-of-Life Care for Health and Social Care Professionals: A Mixed-Method Evaluation


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Abstract

In the recent decades, expressive arts (EXA) has been used in end-of-life care (EOLC) for facilitating the quality of life of the patients and the caregivers. However, it may not be practical for every EOLC service to dispense EXA activities solely by extensively trained art therapy specialists. There is currently a lack of brief training for nonart therapists, which may have stifled the application of the techniques in clinical settings. The current study therefore described and evaluated the effectiveness of a 2-day EXA training workshop in enhancing practice, knowledge, and self-competence among health and social care professionals working in EOLC using a mixed-method approach. The quantitative findings show significant improvement in perceived competence of providing services per holistic and person-centered EOLC objectives, nonpharmaceutical management of symptoms, and evidence-based psychosocial care as well as self-competence in death work (SCDW) after the workshop. The qualitative findings corroborated the quantitative results by suggesting that the improvement in competence could be associated with enhanced communication, meaning reconstruction, and therapeutic relationship with the clients as well as the improvement in mood, socialization, and self-esteem among the clients through the learned EXA activities. Our findings support the efficacy of a brief training of EXA activities for nonart therapists in enhancing multifaceted intervention competence. Further research on brief training will be needed to promote the use of EXA activities in the EOLC context.

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