There are clearly elucidated associations between poor perinatal mental health and
adverse pregnancy and birth outcomes. Non-pharmacological treatment options are under
researched, emergent and few. Music, Drawing and Narrative (MDN) is seen as a beneficial
therapeutic modality in other areas of health and could benefit inpatient women experiencing
a high-risk pregnancy.
To assess the acceptability of MDN as an art and music based therapeutic intervention
for women who are admitted to hospital whilst experiencing a high-risk pregnancy.
Singleton pregnant women (n=12) at 24-week gestation or more admitted to Flinders
medical centre- antenatal ward, for longer than 5 consecutive days, were eligible
for inclusion. Data collection spanned the period of 18 months from July 2020- 2021
and was undertaken by the project leader. Women participated in a standalone group
therapeutic MDN session and were interviewed to better understand the effects of the
intervention. Analysis comprised of a thematic analysis.
Four emergent themes were identified. First, the impact of the MDN components on participant
experience. Second, therapeutic process reflecting the journey that facilitated acknowledgment
of the difficulties and positives of pregnancy. Third, Calm and relaxed as a direct
result of involvement in intervention. Lastly, connection through shared experience.
Consequently, MDN enabled this group of pregnant women to better express themselves,
sort through emotions, find a positive distraction from real stressors, feel more
connected with their baby, develop optimism, experience calmness, and connect and
learn from others.
MDN may offer a viable and cost-effective method for supporting women experiencing
high risk pregnancies. These results support the growing body of literature that indicates
creative arts interventions are beneficial to women's psychosocial health.