The energy-enhancing potential of participatory performance-based arts activities in the care of people with a diagnosis of cancer: an integrative review

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Cancer in all its forms and stages is accompanied by a range of emotional, social and spiritual impacts. Pharmacological interventions have limited success with these issues and a range of interventions are needed to support people with a cancer diagnosis. We seek to understand the benefits of participatory performance-based arts activities, such as music, singing, drama and dance, in the care of people with cancer. We use the emerging Energy Restoration Framework, based on Kaplan’s Attention Restoration Theory to explore the potentially energy-enhancing aspects of participation in such activities.

Methods: An integrative review is used to explore existing research on the use of participatory performance-based arts in cancer care. Existing research is summarized and critically appraised. Results are analysed thematically and mapped to the attributes of the Energy Restoration Framework.

Results: Eight studies (four qualitative, three quantitative and one mixed-methods study) published between 2001 and 2016 met the search criteria. Findings from the thematic analysis resonated with the attributes of the Energy Restoration Framework.

Conclusions: Research on the topic is very limited. When examined through the lens of the Energy Restoration Framework, the literature hints at the potential value of participatory performance-based arts activities for enhancing energy in the cancer care context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-103
Number of pages17
JournalArts and Health: an international journal for research, policy and practice
Issue number2
Early online date8 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019


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