Living Well with Chronic Pain

As part of NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group’s Test and Learn programme, Artlift is co-producing and refining an arts on prescription offer for adults living with long-term, chronic pain.

In the first phase of the project (2018–2020), we took referrals from the Pain Management team at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital.

In Phase Two, due to start in January 2021, we’ll be working with a Steering Group of GPs, taking referrals from primary care; providing an alternative positive way for people in chronic pain, including those who’ve told us their pain has been exacerbated by inactivity due to lockdown and/or shielding.

What did we do in Phase One?

  • Piloted some male and female only 12-week courses because our partners noticed that single-gender groups enabled more open conversations.
  • Provided courses in inspiring, uplifting accessible spaces such as Nature in Art, near Gloucester and Overton House, Barnwod Trust HQ in Cheltenham.
  • Offered a wide range of courses, including: a film project enabling participants to explore sound, visual backdrop, narrative and filming; and mixed media courses like lantern making, watercolour, silk painting and mosaic.
  • Supported trainee Assistant Facilitators with lived experience of chronic pain.

What was the impact?

  • 67% of participants showed a meaningful improvement in general wellbeing (using WEMWBS scores)
  • Just under 70% of participants showed an increase in pain management confidence
  • Just under 45% reported a decrease in GP visits

What did our participants say?

‘It helped with my pain as it makes me relax’

‘Taking time for myself helped.’

‘It’s a distraction from the pain.’

‘Total relaxation when painting.’

‘It’s an amazing experience. I can’t express enough how much it helps!’

If you’d like to find out more about Test and Learn, please contact Artlift.


Artlift Projects

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