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Lessons learned about art-based approaches for disseminating knowledge.

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  • Background: Once a study has been completed, the final step of dissemination of findings is crucial. In this paper, we explore the benefits of bringing nursing research into public spaces using an arts-based approach. Aim: To present a case example of using an arts-based approach developing an art exhibit to disseminate research findings from a narrative research study. Data Sources Findings from a qualitative narrative inquiry exploring peoples’ experiences of living with life-threatening illnesses. Review Methods Semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with 32 participants living with cancer, chronic renal disease, or HIV/AIDS. Participants were invited to share a symbol representing their experience of living with life-threatening illness and the meaning it held for them. Discussion: The exhibit conveys experiences of how people story and re-story their lives when living with chronic kidney disease, cancer, or HIV. Photographic images of symbolic representations of study participant’s experiences and poetic narratives from their stories were exhibited in a public art gallery. The theoretical underpinning of arts-based approaches and the lessons learned in creating an art exhibit from research findings are explored. Conclusion: Creative art forms for research and knowledge dissemination offer sites for new ways of understanding and knowing that are under-utilized in nursing. Implications for practice/research Arts-based approaches make visible patients’ experiences that are often left unarticulated or hidden. Creative dissemination approaches such as art exhibits can promote insight and new ways of knowing that communicate nursing research to both public and professional audiences.

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    Article (Published)
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    © 2013 RCN Publishing. This version of this article is open access and can be downloaded and shared. The original author(s) and source must be cited.
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    • Bruce, A., Schick Makaroff, K., Sheilds, L., Beuthin, R., Molzahn, A., & Shermak, S. (2013). Lessons learned about art-based approaches for disseminating knowledge. Nurse Researcher, 21(1), 23-28.