Carr, C et al

What makes us the same and what makes us different? Exploring the challenges in the design and description of arts therapies practice within randomised controlled trials.
 

Catherine Carr, Barbara Feldtkeller, Jennifer French, Dominik Havsteen-Franklin, Vicky Karkou, Emma Windle
 

Randomised controlled trials pose a number of challenges to arts therapies. As we are ‘complex’ interventions (Craig et al., 2008), particular challenges are in how we set up and describe practice. This becomes even more complicated, when looking across different arts modalities.

The ERA study is an NIHR-funded, multicentre randomised controlled trial of group arts therapies compared to group counselling in community mental health care. Group arts therapies in this study are art therapy, music therapy and dance movement therapy. The ERA study has several unique design features including use of video to inform patient choice of therapy, focus on group provision to people with a range of mental health diagnoses, and arts-based workshops with therapists to develop a working manual of group arts therapies for the trial.

This panel discussion will draw upon the experiences of seven arts therapists and a social psychiatrist to explore issues in the design and running of arts therapies trials. We will share some of the decisions and approaches taken in designing a randomised controlled trial of group arts therapies in community mental health care (the ERA study) including our arts-based methods of sharing practice across professions.

The panel discussion will begin with a short presentation to provide an overview of trials in arts therapies and mental health care, including design issues for arts therapies, (including therapy setup, inclusion criteria, how we describe practice, treatment fidelity and choice of outcomes). We will then give an introduction to the ERA trial design and our process in developing the videos. We will end with an exploration of the arts and practice-based approaches we used to describe shared and unique features of art, dance movement and music therapy practice which through further collaboration with therapists have informed development of the study manual.

 

Biography, Recent Publications and Conference Presentations

Catherine Carr is an HEE/NIHR Clinical Lecturer at Queen Mary University of London and Music Therapist at East London NHS Foundation Trust.

 

Carr C., O'Kelly J., Sandford S. et al. (2017). Feasibility and acceptability of group music therapy vs wait-list control for treatment of patients with long-term depression (the ‘SYNCHRONY’ trial): Study protocol for a randomised controlled trial.Trials vol. 18, (149) doi: 10.1186/s13063-017-1893-8

 

Carr C., Sandford S., French J. et al. (2018). Building alliances in research: Perspectives on music therapy research in action and its impacts in an NHS Trust. In: Warner, C., Tsiris, G. and Watson, T. (Eds.). Music, Diversity and Wholeness.British Association for Music Therapy Conference, February 2018. London: British Association for Music Therapy pp.314-6.

 

Barbara Feldtkeller is Research Lead for Arts Therapies and Dance Movement Psychotherapist at Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust.

 

Jennifer French is Head of Arts Therapies at East London NHS Foundation Trust and a Music Therapist.

 

Carr C., Sandford S., French J. et al. (2018). Building alliances in research: Perspectives on music therapy research in action and its impacts in an NHS Trust. In: Warner, C., Tsiris, G. and Watson, T. (Eds.). Music, Diversity and Wholeness.British Association for Music Therapy Conference, February 2018. London: British Association for Music Therapy pp.314-6.

 

Dominik Havsteen-Franklin is Professor of Practice at Brunel University and Consultant in Arts Psychotherapies for Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust.

 

Havsteen-Franklin, D., Jovanovic, N., Reed, N., Charles, M., Lucas, C., (2017). Developing a Shared Language Within Arts Psychotherapies: A Personal Construct Psychology Approach to Understanding Clinical Change. The Arts in Psychotherapy, vol.55, 103-110.

 

Vicky Karkou is Professor of Arts, Dance and Wellbeing at Edge Hill University and a Dance Movement Psychotherapist.

 

Zubala A & Karkou V (2018) Arts Therapies for Depression: Research and

Practice. Part of the series “Research in the Arts Therapies” series, in collaboration with European Consortium for Arts Therapies Education (ECArTE). London: Routledge.

 

Emma Windle is a PhD student at Queen Mary University of London and Music Therapist at East London NHS Foundation Trust.