Moving Essence Nature Art Therapy Reduces Patient Anxiety and Pain perception in Breast Screening, Biopsy and Ultrasound
An Innovative Intervention - Co Designed by Countess of Chester Hospital Breast Screening Unit
and Artist Mark Cameron Minard - Moving Image Nature Arts in Health Specialist
A subsequent PHD study showed that 86% of patients who used this technique reported a strong reduction in anxiety, with feedback describing calming and relaxing benefits.
This 5 minute interview film in HD has been prepared with staff interviews, showing the set up in the waiting and assessment -treatment areas of Chester Breast Screening Unit. It was filmed at the start of the project.
Linda Mitchell of Countess of Chester Breast Screening Unit was heading up the search for ways to reduce women’s anxiety during their visits to the breast screening unit and to encourage woman to continue to come back for screening.
At the same time Nature Artist Mark Cameron Minard from New Zealand had been working in the UK creating unique nature moving images to help people become calm and still.
The resulting co designed nature art installation now plays on HD TV display screens which are installed in the x-ray rooms as well as in the follow up treatment room and waiting areas. At the same time new digital x-ray machines were installed.
• Two display screens were put either side of the new digital x-ray mammography machines enabling patients to focus and be still during each breast x-ray procedure increasing the likelihood of clear imaging and helping reduce patient anxiety.
• Pre and post breast screening waiting areas also have HD wide screen displays to create a familiar supportive experience throughout the patient journey through unfamiliar rooms, equipment and procedures.
• Varying soundscape options were created which varied from pure nature sound to specially commissioned music pieces. Different moving images and soundscape options can be selected via a remote control.
• System design allows for future expansion of nature art imagery to all the hospital and it has since been expanded into another area.
Initial Research Results
The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester (specialist cancer hospital) also installed the nature art moving image work by the same artist Mark Minard in the Critical Care Unit (CCU) to relax and distract patients during unpleasant procedures and to bring nature into the CCU (as requested by patients.)
77% of patients reported reduced anxiety on initial trials.
Over 60% of women experience pain during breast screening and biopsy procedures which can take some time to complete. The pain relief benefits of nature moving images have been proven in many studies. Subjects who watched nature scenes evidenced a higher threshold for detecting pain and had substantially greater pain tolerance (Tse, Ng, Chung, & Wong, 2002). In other areas such as changing burn dressings, nature moving images significantly reduced both anxiety and pain intensity (Miller, Hickman, & Lemasters, 1992).
Christine Hopkins and Ali Guest from the North West Q&A team instigated the work being put into the Bolton Breast unit biopsy rooms and the Linda McCartney centre’s new Liverpool Broadgreen Breast screening unit respectively. Leeds Seacroft hospital unit have now installed the work in their biopsy room.
Improving the quality of patient experience and contributing to health and wellbeing are key drivers of the health care agenda as is the adoption and spread of innovative good practise.
Mark Minard says “It’s a therapy that goes beyond the idea of just providing entertainment. The artistic sensitivity of my work soulfully helps the patient cope with the challenge of the procedure, reducing stress for the patient and for staff as well, thus improving the overall quality and service outcomes.”
This is supported by the Kings Fund document “Enhancing the Healing Environment Programme 2008-10” which identifies the importance of connecting to nature, the inclusion of spiritual spaces and artworks that will lift the spirit and create a healing atmosphere.
Sarah Waller, the King’s Fund Enhancing the Healing Environment (EHE) Director says “You can support people through really subtle and small changes in the environment which makes a big difference to them.”
Mark Cameron Minard
Moving Image Nature Arts in Health Specialist
© 2014 Mark Cameron Minard All rights reserved