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Creative Arts Intervention in Support of Women Experiencing a High-Risk Pregnancy

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      Background

      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.

      Aim

      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.

      Methodology

      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.

      Key Findings

      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.

      Conclusion

      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.
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