Rolling: An integrated visual and performance arts in health program at Oberon Multipurpose Service: Evaluation report

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Abstract

This evaluation examines the integrated visual and performance arts in health program, Rolling, which commenced face-to-face at Oberon Multipurpose (MPS) in 2019 and, due to COVID 1, continued online in 2020. This was part of a broader Arts in Health initiative of the Western NSW Local Health District WNSWLHD. The participants were residents with high care needs. Whilst not a dementia-specific program, some participants did have dementia and indeed, some had very limited mobility and were non-verbal.
It is concluded here that the very thoughtful planning and implementation of Rolling by Arts OutWest, the artists and MPS staff led a productive experience of participating residents of the Oberon MPS, and it hard to imagine that this program would not have enhanced the residents’ lives.

There are always opportunities for improvement in the planning and delivery of health-related services and to this end, the following recommendations are made.

1.Continue to explore the potential offered by integrating visual- and performance-based elements in Arts in Health programs.
2.Make available to other Arts in Health practitioners and the aged and health care industry more broadly information about the benefits of integrating visual- and performance-based elements in Arts in Health programs. A conference presentation and journal article, perhaps expanding on the contents of this report, would be appropriate means.
3.Continue to build on the already effective structures and processes of Arts in Health practices used in Rolling.
4.Build the capacity of MPS staff, including Activity Officers, informal carers and other relevant stakeholders regarding Arts in Health programs. A good place to start would be to create deeper understanding about notions of ‘value’ regarding art and the art-making process, empowerment, and how to discuss artworks in authentic and empowering ways.
5.Future evaluation should consider:
a.Drawing on the observations of the artists, as occurred here, and expand that to MPS staff including Activity Officers, informal carers, and other relevant stakeholders.
b.Embedding an evaluator in selected Arts in Health session, similar to ethnography.
c.Case study methodology and participatory action research, where action is framed iterative cycles of, for example, plan, act, observe and reflect (Nazari, 2021).
d.Using Zoom, or a similar videoconferencing, recordings to analyse group processes (communication, relationships, etc.).
6.Continue to explore online delivery.
7. Work towards adequate internet bandwidth at all sites for online delivery.
8.Consider introducing Rolling to other parts of the WNSWLHD and in other jurisdictions.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAustralia
PublisherCharles Sturt University
Commissioning bodyArtsOutwest
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 01 Mar 2021

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