Elise Weisert, Carol Herron, Quinn Franklin
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
Background: Periwinkle Arts in Medicine (AIM) Program was established over 20 years ago at Texas Children’s Hospital to provide pediatric hematology and oncology patients and their families with artistic opportunities to foster coping skills, stress relief, and educational growth. Through AIM, participants are provided with in-clinic arts programs including songwriting, crafts, performances, visual arts, photography, and writing in both inpatient and outpatient settings. The purpose of this project was to complete a survey-based quality improvement study to assess patient and caregiver awareness of the AIM programs and to identify areas for improvement and growth. Methods: An anonymous survey was created and administered at Texas Children’s Main and West Campuses over five consecutive business days in June 2018. Families were surveyed about their awareness of AIM programs, program participation, barriers to participation and efficacy of programs in both the inpatient and outpatient clinics. Results: A total of 286 families was surveyed at two campuses, and participants were offered surveys in English or Spanish. Amongst those who had participated in each of the main categories of arts programs – arts and crafts, music, digital media, theater, creative writing – more than half of the participants indicated that the programs were either “helpful” or “extremely helpful.” For both inpatient and outpatient participants, the arts and crafts category had the highest participation, and the theater category had the lowest participation. Conclusion: Results revealed the most significant area for growth is increasing patient and family awareness of AIM programs. Those who participated in AIM reported high levels of satisfaction, demonstrating the strong impact that the programs have on patients and their families. Furthermore, this survey provided AIM with information that allows greater connection to care with patients and caregivers and identified ways to reach a larger audience, especially populations that may be marginalized due to language and cultural barriers.