Creative arts intervention in support of women experiencing a high-risk pregnancy: a qualitative descriptive thematic analysis

Helena Anolak, Farrah Lau, Deborah Davis, Jenny Browne, Bec Watt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Mental illness can have negative effects on both the pregnant woman and her unborn child. Studies that use the creative arts as interventions have proven to be beneficial to women's antenatal mental health and wellbeing, however, these studies are limited and emergent. Music, drawing and narrative (MDN) is an established music therapy intervention, stemming from guided imagery and music (GIM), that has the potential to support positive mental health and wellbeing. Yet, to date, there have been limited studies on the use of this form of therapy with inpatient antenatal women.

AIM: To describe antenatal inpatient women's experiences of participating in a MDN session.

METHODS: Qualitative data were collected from a sample of 12 inpatient pregnant women who participated in MDN group sessions of drawing to music. Post intervention interviews explored the mental and emotional health of participants. A thematic analysis of the transcribed interview data was performed.

FINDINGS: Through reflection women were supported to acknowledge both the positives and difficulties of pregnancy as well as establish meaningful connections through shared experience. These thematic findings highlighted that MDN enabled this group of pregnant women to better communicate their feelings, validate emotions, engage in positive distractions, develop greater connections, improve optimism, experience calmness, and learn from others.

CONCLUSION: This project demonstrates that MDN may offer a viable method for supporting women experiencing high risk pregnancies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100830
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalSexual and Reproductive HealthCare
Early online date3 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023


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