Art after stroke: The qualitative experience of community dwelling stroke survivors in a group art programme

Kerry Beesley, Jennifer Helen White, Megan K. Alston, Anne L. Sweetapple, Michael Pollack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: This study aimed to qualitatively explore the experience of community dwelling stroke survivors participation in an arts health group programme and possible health benefits to quality of life (QOL) and wellbeing. Method: Sixteen participants were conveniently sampled to participate in two group art programmes, both held weekly over a period of 8 weeks. Qualitative data were collected through two focus groups (n = 9) and individual interviews (n = 11). Qualitative analysis of the data was undertaken, using a grounded theory approach incorporating constant comparison. Results: Age ranged from 43 to 81 years. Four themes emerged including: experience of stroke, benefit of art, benefit for self and benefit of group experience. Participants experienced improved confidence, self-efficacy, QOL and community participation through involvement in an arts health programme. Conclusions:The implementation of an arts health programme after stroke made a substantial impact on well-being and QOL. Results from this study are promising and this is a model that warrants rigorous investigation regarding the impact of art on QOL and wellbeing. This study also highlighted the need for community resources to address community re-integration and service provision in the form of age appropriate, activity-based groups for stroke survivors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2346-2355
Number of pages10
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Issue number23-24
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • art
  • community dwelling
  • fatigue
  • outcomes
  • qualitative
  • rehabilitation
  • Stroke

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