Development of a complex arts-based intervention for patients with end-stage kidney disease whilst receiving haemodialysis

Pilot Feasibility Stud. 2021 Jun 16;7(1):127. doi: 10.1186/s40814-021-00868-2.


Background: Patients with end-stage kidney disease who receive haemodialysis experience a protracted treatment regimen that can result in an increased risk of depression and anxiety. Arts-based interventions could address this unique issue; however, no arts-based interventions have been developed for delivery within a haemodialysis unit and evaluation within a randomised controlled trials (RCTs).

Aim: To develop a complex arts-based intervention for patients with end-stage kidney disease whilst receiving haemodialysis.

Methods: The development process utilised the Arts in Health framework (Fancourt, 2017). The framework was addressed through the establishment of an interdisciplinary advisory group, collaboration and consultation with stakeholders, a scoping and realist review, shadowing of artists-in-residence, personal arts practice and logic modelling.

Results: The intervention involved six 1-h long, one-to-one facilitated sessions focused on creative writing and visual art. Patients could choose between art form and self-select a subject matter. The sessions had a primary focus on skill development and were delivered using principles derived from the psychological theory of flow.

Conclusion: The Arts in Health framework provided an appropriate and pragmatic approach to intervention development. Complex arts-based interventions can be developed for the purpose of evaluation within a trial framework. This intervention was designed to strike a balance between standardised components, and a person-centred approach necessary to address existential boredom.

Keywords: Arts in health; Arts-based intervention; Chronic disease; End-stage kidney disease; Haemodialysis; Intervention development.