Expressive Arts and Journaling: The Effect of a Nurse-Run Workshop on the Anxiety/Stress of Health Care Professionals in a Community Health Setting

Graduation Date


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Document Form


Degree Name

Master of Science



Department or Program Chair

Barbara Ganley, PhD


Background: Over the past several decades, stress and stress-management have received increased attention. The dynamics of the changing workplace, with downsizing and budget constraints, have had an effect on employee burnout, morale, productivity, and performance; as well as the mental, physical, emotional, and psychological well-being of the employee. Billions of dollars have been spent to offset the high cost of employee health and maintenance. Self-care is essential to health care providers in order to better facilitate care for their clients. By providing resources, education, and staff support programs that include the arts and humanities, organizations and companies can provide their employees with some of the tools they need for maintaining their health.

Methods: This quasi-experimental, one group pre/post test study included 20 participants. All participants went through a 6-week workshop that incorporated creative/expressive arts and journaling. A pre and post-test measured their levels of stress/anxiety before and after the workshop.

Results: The sample was primarily Caucasian and female. There was a significant decrease in levels of anxiety/stress over the duration of the workshop that was evident not only through the results of the pre and post-tests, but also through their art work, journaling, sharing and comments at the end of the workshop.

Conclusions: A nurse-run creative/expressive arts and journaling workshop designed for use with employees in a community health setting did have a positive outcome on levels of stress and anxiety.

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