Exploring the experience and impact of forum theatre techniques for developing mental health nursing skills: a mixed methods research project

Pearce, Reuben (2022) Exploring the experience and impact of forum theatre techniques for developing mental health nursing skills: a mixed methods research project. Doctoral thesis, University of West London.

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Abstract

The purpose of the study was to explore the experience and impact of Forum Theatre techniques for developing mental health nursing skills. There is an emerging body of work that aims to explore and evaluate the use of Forum Theatre as a pedagogy in healthcare education. However, published research on the subject is limited to just a small number of evaluative studies. No primary research has explored the use of Forum Theatre for training mental health nurses. Despite the limitations, review of the literature has established that further exploration of Forum Theatre as a pedagogy in healthcare education is needed.
The aim of the current research was to understand the effectiveness of Forum Theatre techniques on mental health nursing skills by understanding how Forum Theatre was experienced, what specific skills it addressed, and whether these skills impacted on practice. A Pragmatic lens permitted the researcher to encompass the strengths of other methodologies through a two-phase sequential exploratory mixed design.
Phase 1 was qualitative, and the results informed the choice of measure for phase 2, which was quantitative. Phase 1 data collection was via eight semi-structured interviews and thematically analysed using a qualitative descriptive approach. The phase 1 findings revealed that Forum Theatre increased empathy in participants, supported by four themes; learning environment, authenticity, active learning, and personal development, with subthemes; communication, resilience, and empathy.
Phase 2 was designed to measure whether there was a significant difference in participant empathy before and after a standardised Forum Theatre workshop focused on a mental health crisis intervention. The Jefferson Scale of Empathy was used to measure participant empathy pre-post-intervention. A paired samples Wilcoxon test and Kruskal-Wallis test confirmed a significant increase in empathy in 95% of cases, confirming that Forum Theatre techniques increased participant empathy for others.
The significance of this study is in how it informs understanding of Forum Theatre as a learning and teaching strategy for use in mental health nurse education and for developing skills in delivering empathic care in crisis intervention. In addition, a model is provided that illustrates how Forum Theatre can support a cycle of development across the affective, cognitive, and behavioural domains of empathy.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: Medicine and health > Nursing > Mental health nursing
Depositing User: Reuben Pearce
Date Deposited: 22 Apr 2022 14:46
Last Modified: 22 Apr 2022 14:46
URI: http://repository.uwl.ac.uk/id/eprint/8987

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