Dossier n. 249/2015 [Abstract] Teatralmente. Outcome assessment of the regional Project “Theatre and mental health”


This Dossier acts as a closing document of the first assessment experiences related to the Project “Theatre and mental health”, sponsored by the Regional Department of Health of Emilia-Romagna, and managed by the Departments of Mental health and addictions of the Local Health Trusts of Bologna, Reggio Emilia, Ferrara, Piacenza, Forlì, Modena, Parma, Rimini, Imola and Cesena, in collaboration with Istituzione Gian Franco Minguzzi (Metropolitan City of Bologna).

The assessment studies adopted a multi-axial, multi-dimensional and longitudinal perspective
to measure the outcomes by means of a range of crucial variables, as well as to provide an opportunity to reconsider work practices in mental health services.

The volume consists of five Chapters.

The first part (Chapters 1 and 2) outlines the theoretical framework and the aims of the Project. Theatrical activities are shown as a significant tool in prevention and treatment of mental health diseases, as they can foster individual and social welfare; and the activities implemented by the regional Project “Theatre and mental health” are briefly described. This outline is then linked to the need to develop and test tools to assess the effectiveness of such activities. At the same time, however, these tools should be considered as means to gather the opinions of all the subjects involved in the care process, to identify routes to take and to improve the quality of care.

The second part (Chapter 3) focuses on the pilot assessment of the Project “Theatre and mental health”, involving four Mental Health Departments (Modena, Imola, Forlì, Parma) and aiming to investigate to what extent theatrical activities affect users on both clinical-functional and psychosocial levels. A secondary aim was to provide mental health workers with a set
of tools to collect systematic and standardized information about users, in order to support
a better planning of user-related activities.

The third part of the Dossier (Chapter 4) describes the second outcome assessment of the Project, which addressed seven Mental Health Departments (Piacenza, Reggio Emilia, Parma, Ferrara, Imola, Forlì and Rimini): the research design is the same of the pilot study, and previous results are partially confirmed. The study is completed by a qualitative survey carried out in the Mental Health Department of Bologna, in which the features of theatrical activities did not permit a strictly quantitative assessment.

The concluding remarks (Chapter 5) focus on the detected positive impacts, on the possibility of introducing an “outcome assessment habit” in Local Health Trusts (either as an effectiveness analysis of rehabilitation programs or as a tool for user-focused planning), and on the complexities stemming from the implementation of the assessment study itself - both from a methodological point of view and regarding how to fit a tool for multidimensional assessment into daily practice.


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