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"The culture palette" – a randomized intervention study for women with burnout symptoms in Sweden
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute.
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2015 (English)In: British Journal of Medical Practitioners, ISSN 1757-8515, Vol. 8, no 2, a813Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Burnout is common among women in Sweden. Cultural activities, i.e. arts, have benefitted different patient populations and may have potential for treating this group as well. Aim: To evaluate possible health effects of regular cultural activities for women with burnout symptoms with focus on exhaustion level.Methods: 48 women (mean age 54) were randomly assigned either to a cultural activity group (intervention group) or to a control group. Four health care centers were the settings for a “Culture Palette” comprised of six different cultural activity packages: interactive theater, movie, vocal improvisation and drawing, dance, mindfulness training and musical show. The activity packages were offered once a week over a period of three months. Standardized questionnaires; the Karolinska Exhaustion Disorder Scale ( KEDS), Sense of Coherence (SOC), Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS)  and Self-rated health  were used at baseline, in month three and at follow-up in month six. Qualitative interviews with patients, cultural producers and health care staff were conducted at month three and month six.Results: Burnout symptoms/exhaustion (P< .001) and alexithymia (P=0.007) as well as self-rated health (P<0.001) improved more in the intervention group than in the control group with clinically relevant effect variances. There was no statistical evidence of any difference in the development of SOC between the intervention and the control group. The healthcare staff were also positively affected although they did not participate in the cultural activities. Conclusion: Regular cultural activities affected this group of women beneficially with enhanced health and decreased levels of exhaustion.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 8, no 2, a813
Keyword [en]
arts, burnout, cultural activities, exhaustion symptoms, health care centers, self-rated health, women
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-124554Local ID: P-3296OAI: diva2:889840
Available from: 2015-12-29 Created: 2015-12-29 Last updated: 2016-02-15Bibliographically approved

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Theorell, Töres
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