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The Journal of Applied Arts and Health

The Journal of Applied Arts and Health serves a wide community of artists, researchers, practitioners and policy-makers evidencing the effectiveness of the interdisciplinary use of arts in health and arts for health. It provides a forum for the publication and debate within an interdisciplinary field of arts in healthcare and health promotion. The journal defines ‘health’ broadly which includes physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, occupational, social and community health.

The journal provides artists, researchers, healthcare professionals, educators, therapists, programme administrators and funding bodies an opportunity to report and reflect upon innovative effective practices. The effectiveness of applied arts practices is currently under-researched and this journal provides a vehicle for high quality scholarly activity. The journal embraces contributions of an international dimension.
ISSN: 20402457
Online ISSN: 20402465
First published in 2010
3 issues per volume

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The first volume is available to download free  and contains the following articles:

Drama as a means of preventing post-traumatic stress following trauma within a community 
pp. 7-18(12) 
Author: Landy, Robert J

Drama persists as a natural form of healing and has existed as a ritual
healing process for thousands of years. Developmentally, children naturally use dramatic play to master difficult moments in their lives. Historically and cross-culturally, individuals and communities have sought out the performative qualities of shamans to contact the spirit world and apply its healing medicines to various forms of personal and communal ills. When confronted by unexpected trauma, people can also turn to an applied form of drama to contain their fears and forestall debilitating symptoms of post-traumatic stress. This paper discusses an applied use of drama, that of drama therapy, in preventing the onslaught of symptoms following the terrorist attack on the World Trade Towers in New York City on September 11, 2001. The author discusses one drama therapy approach called Standing Tall, which transformed the roles and stories created by 9-year-old children who witnessed the attacks into a theatrical performance. Through the dramatic process and the subsequent performance, the children were able to begin to make sense of the events they observed and share their roles and stories with their community, leading to a mutual sense of support and hope.

Choral singing and psychological wellbeing: Quantitative and qualitative findings from English choirs in a cross-national survey

pp. 19-34(16) 
Authors: Clift, Stephen; Hancox, Grenville; Morrison, Ian; Hess, Brbel; Kreutz, Gunter; Stewart, Don

Over 600 choral singers drawn from English choirs completed the WHOQOL-BREF questionnaire to measure physical, psychological, social and environmental wellbeing, and a twelve-item wellbeing and choral singing scale. They also provided accounts of the effects of choral singing on quality of life, wellbeing and physical health in response to open questions. High average scores were found on all WHOQOL-BREF scales, and a high degree of consensus emerged on the positive benefits of choral singing. A significant sex difference was found on the choral singing scale, with women endorsing the wellbeing effects of singing more strongly than men. This finding replicates the earlier result reported by Clift & Hancox (2001) in a pilot study with a single choral society. Low correlations were found between the WHOQOL-BREF psychological wellbeing scale and perceptions of wellbeing associated with singing. However, examination of written accounts to open questions from participants with relatively low psychological wellbeing and strong perceptions of positive benefits associated with choral singing served to identify four categories of significant personal and health challenges. They also revealed six generative mechanisms by which singing may impact on wellbeing and health.

Performative encounters: Performance intervention in marketing health products in Nigeria 
pp. 35-51(17) 
Author: Ukaegbu, Victor I

The integration of performance in the sale of medicaments dates back to ancient shamanic practices. The shift from total reliance on healers from the 1960s to new products and models of healthcare delivery saw itinerant salesmen in Nigeria turn the sales of healthcare products into sophisticated participatory performative acts. Historically shamans contextualised healing as performed enactments in which trance, possession, and choreographed actions were important in convincing clients of their pedigree. The performance quotients deployed by shamans were significant in how results were viewed: a strategy that Nigeria's post-civil war (19671970) itinerant medicine salesmen later honed into theatricalised displays. From the early 1970s to 1990s modern itinerant medicine salesmen invaded public transports using a combination of spontaneous dramatisation, role-play, costuming, devised narratives and audience participation to ensure sales. The Nigerian government banned this activity from public transports in the late 1990s, but it persists in other settings. This paper explores the marketing of healthcare as a form of direct theatre (Schechner 1992) and how the deployment of performance to functional intentions results in a unique form of theatricality in which medical products are significant actants (Hilton 1987).

Best foot forward: An orthopaedic odyssey through the world of dance 
pp. 53-61(9) 
Author: Ribbans, Bill

This article reviews the musculoskeletal problems of dancers. An overview of the benefits of dance is given and background problems increasing injury risk explained. The article follows dancers from infancy to retirement through the five orthopaedic ages of a dancer and highlights some of the orthopaedic problems commonly encountered at each age. The specific problems of a major ballet company are discussed and the requirements for a multi-disciplinary team of healthcare professionals to support the organisation outlined.

Inspiring transformations through participation in drama for individuals with neuropalliative conditions 
pp. 63-80(18) 
Author: Fenech, Anne

Purpose: The aim of the service evaluation was to use an occupational science focus to describe the effects of drama with variable levels of sensory content and a potentially active, rather than a passive, participant role on engagement by individuals with neuropalliative conditions.

Method: The service evaluation involved time sampled observations of engagement during a single session for each of the fourteen participants during a passive spectator role in the audience at a live drama, a potentially active interactive performance and a control condition.

Results: The observations of engagement showed a significant difference between the engagement scores for the control condition and the drama.

Conclusions: Whilst drama appears to be satisfying their engagement it depends on the role offered to them (e.g. potentially active versus passive), on the level of sensory stimulation offered and on the supporter to participant ratio available to facilitate their engagement.

Emotional responses to music listening: A review of some previous research and an original, five-phase study 
pp. 81-92(12) 
Author: Lowis, Michael J

The paper firstly reviews four studies on the power of music to generate emo- tional responses in the listener. Using scientific methodology, the research comprised experiments with sacred versus secular music, the effect of differ- ent modes and rhythms in hymn tunes, music and task performance, and the respective influences of nature and nurture on musical ability. Secondly, the paper describes the five phases of a research programme to assess the frequency and nature of peak emotional experiences generated through lis- tening to music. This study made use of surveys, laboratory experiments and EEG measurements in its investigation. Whilst the combined outcomes add to the knowledge and understanding of the role of music, many opportunities for further work remain.

You don't have to like them: Art, Tate Modern and learning 
pp. 93-110(18) 
Author: Weir, Hannele

The context for the article is a workshop that takes place at Tate Modern in London, with a focus on exploring violence. The material is drawn from two small-scale research projects. The participants, who come from a vari- ety of occupations, observe and deal with violence in their work in varying degrees. The rationale for the art gallery based session is that ‘live’ visual works of art stimulate engagement in cognitive and emotional processes whilst exploring societal phenomena relevant to professional knowledge and development.
There are two main themes: the first focuses on the art gallery visit as a means of learning, and the second is to consider the impact on stu- dents and whether learning in an art gallery might give insight into their practice.

Creating a space for the individual: Different theatre and performance-based approaches to sexual health communication in South Africa 
pp. 111-126(16) 
Author: Low, Katharine

Sexually transmitted infections such as HIV are illnesses that affect both a person’s physical health as well as their mental and social wellbeing. Yet, the global development of public health responses have, for the most part, remained focused on the physical wellbeing of people with little attention paid to the individual’s emotional wellbeing. With the highest number of HIV positive people worldwide, South Africa requires ‘a new and positive approach to the pandemic’(Ross 2008). This article aims to bring attention to practice, in this instance, theatre and performance-based work, which considers the people and communities affected and afflicted by HIV, and other sexual health concerns, as individuals with individual thoughts and emotions, for greater inclusion in a more positive approach to tackling AIDS. This article will consider three examples of such practice, namely the Themba HIV/AIDS Organisation, the Etafeni Centre and ‘our place, our stage’ (OPOS) project.



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