Walking their Shoes
Storytelling in situ to promote empathy amongst health professionals in situ
Academic Lead: Professor Maggie Kirk, University of South Wales
Business Partner: Lisa Heledd Jones, Storyworks UK
The aim of the project is to test the impact of a digital story resource, accessed either within a specific clinical place, or recreated virtually in an online resource, on empathy of health professionals using the resource. Expressive art has been used successfully in health professional training on empathy. However, directing attention to the patient’s physical landscape through the use of stories in such training has not been reported and this is an area worthy of investigation.
The aims of the project are:
• to produce a digital audio story which can be used to demonstrate the feasibility of doing this within a hospital setting and to provide an illustration of how stories can be utilised;
• to explore with senior NHS staff any potential challenges to making digital audio stories available within a hospital setting, for health professionals to access as part of continuing professional development, on practical, technical and ethical grounds;
• to review currently available empathy rating scales for application within a complex study.
The project has been completed successfully and the final report was submitted in December 2013. Following this, and as a result of the connections made with key NHS staff as part of the project, an application to the Strategic Insight Programme (SIP) has secured funding to cover the time of Dr Rhian Morgan to undertake a 48 hour observational placement at an outpatients department in Cwm Taf University Health Board. This will offer insights into the demands of outpatients’ appointments and the services provided. Funding for a pilot study has also been awarded from Cwm Taf University Health Board.
• The project team has now been awarded additional funding from Cwm Taf UHB to test the Walking in their Shoes story resource to see how it affects self-assessed empathy levels of doctors and nurses, with the aim of identifying an effective way of promoting empathy in order to inform ongoing training approaches for NHS staff involved in patient care.
• Rhian Morgan will be undertaking a Strategic Insight Programme (SIP) observational placement during the summer with the Patient and Public Engagement Manager at Cwm Taf UHB, the objectives of which are: •
to gain insight into the demands of outpatients’appointments and the services provided
to facilitate knowledge exchange and foster the collaborative links established with key NHS staff
to use the knowledge gained from the placement to inform a collaborative application to an external funding body to further develop a storytelling resource to promote empathy amongst health professionals towards the impact of place on patient wellbeing.
• Project Lead Maggie Kirk gave oral presentations about the Walking in their Shoes project at the Faculty of Life Science and Education showcase seminar on21st May and at the Cwm Taf R & D conference at the end of 2013.