Capturing the experience of chronic low back pain through personal visualisations of significant walks an art and health project

A. Moore, Kambiz Saber-Sheikh, Shirley Chubb, Neil Bryant

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Background: This study was developed from a collaboration between a musculoskeletal therapist and researcher, a fine artist, a media specialist and an engineer. All the team had an interest in Chronic Low Back Pain from a range of perspectives and shared a range of skills and knowledge which had never before been combined and utilised in this area of study. In context, Chronic Low Back Pain is an invisible problem that affects 80% of the UK population at some time in their lives. It is however a largely misunderstood which is an issue that individuals who experience it sometimes have difficulty communicating. Purpose: The purpose of the study was to capture participants' meaningful experiences of Chronic Low back pain in everyday life focusing on a personal significant walk. The aim of the project was to produce a series of visualisations with each of the participants which would enhance health professionals and members of the Publics understanding of the difficulties faced by individuals with chronic Low back pain. Methods: Twelve participants with Chronic Low Back Pain chose a walk of personal significance to them, either Positive or negative. Demographic data were collected at the start of the process as well as details regarding the extent and position of their pain.Prior to their walk Inertial sensors were attached to their Lumbar spine (L1-S1)and a head mounted video camera was fitted to their forehead to capture a video of their walk. Pain levels were monitored every 2 minutes during their 20 minute walk and qualitative data were collected prior to, during and after their walk using a range of approaches. Results: Using the data gathered, visual representationsof each of the significant walks have been co-produced by the researchers and the participants. Key elements of the video footage and data have been selectedand combined in a seriesof audio visual exhibitions. Each participant used their own movement data to manipulate special effects applied to the original video footage and data was synchronised to create hybrid footage that the participant felt represented their personal experience. Conclusion: Low Back Pain is a complex issue that creates significant personal challenges for those affected. This combined arts science and health approach to this work has demonstrated a range of outcomes that may be helpful in building a range of visualisations of a range of Musculoskeletal conditions. Implications: These very personal and valid expressions of Chronic Low Back Pain syndromes are now available for exhibition purposes. More public knowledge of the impact of Chronic Low Back Pain on individuals who experience the problem could create a greater understanding of the challenges faced by these people. The outcomes of the project will also be useful for teaching purposes in relation to health professional students. The more understanding members of the public and health professionals have of the personal impact of chronic low back pain the more likely it is that individuals with back pain will meet with more positive understanding from their family their friends and their colleagues. Funding acknowledgements: This Project was funded by The Welcome Trust in the UK Ethics approval: The research project was approved by the Un iversity of Brighton,Faculty of Health's Ethic and Governance committee Disclosure of interest: None Declared Keywords: Art and Health, Chronic low back pain, Patient experiences
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jul 2016
EventIFOMPT 2016 - Glasgow, UK, 4-8 July 2016
Duration: 29 Sept 2016 → …


ConferenceIFOMPT 2016
Period29/09/16 → …


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