Thomas, R., Gifford, W., & Hammond, C. (in press). Writing toward well-being: A qualitative study of community-based workshops with breast cancer survivor. Canadian Oncology of Nursing Journal.
Writing reflectively: Evaluating an interdisciplinary, community-based approach to the challenges of breast cancer survivorship
Professional writer and consultant
Breast Cancer Survivor
Research Team Collaborator
Men at work: Writing towards wellness after prostate cancer
Clinical Associate Professor
UBC Division of Radiation Oncology
Surgery, Faculty of Medicine
BC Cancer Agency
University of Saskatchewan
Psychosocial stress commonly arises after experiencing cancer. Post-treatment is widely recognized as a critical transition, yet it can be difficult for individuals to find adequate resources to address emotional issues left unexamined during the treatment and diagnosis phases. The aim of this aspect of my research program is to find innovative and novel ways to explore distress throughout the cancer trajectory. Below are some examples of the projects that we have on the go, in order to further explore arts-based research in health.
Art and Well-being for Women with Cancer
Artists, Health Professionals, & Conceptualizations of Well-being
Another upcoming project we have, explores the conceptualizations of health and well-being by artists in the Fall of 2017. The study aims to document conceptualizations of health and well-being by people who identify as both health professionals and artists. A secondary goal is to compare the two groups' conceptualizations of healthand well-being. We aim to accomplish this by asking:
What are the ways in which health and well-being are conceptualized by artists?
What are the ways in which health and well-being are conceptualized by health professionals who also identify as artists?
How do conceptualizations of well-being by health professionals who are also artists compare to those of artists?
ReVisioning Breast Cancer
Look for our recently submitted publications stemming from this meeting coming soon. The use of art-making as a form of reflective or creative practice by social scientists themselves, or for themselves, has been limited. In this project, we explored the impact of creating and art-making within our group of researchers. As a team, we represented sociology, psychology, nursing, occupational therapy, kinesiology, as well as interdisciplinary studies.
The goal of hte Creative Writing project was to develop and test a supportive, community-based writing intervention for women who have experienced breast cancer. I completed a pilot study in August & September 2014. In conjunction with a professional writer, we delivered a community-based intervention to 11 women (14 hours over 2 days) where the women participated in embodied writing exercises, collage, and breath and movement (tai chi/qi gong). This intervention had very positive reviews, and resulted in a community presentation and publications which can be found here.
Other Arts-Based Projects
In addition to creative writing, mixed media, and visual arts-based research, I also have extensive experience with photovoice. See our National Picture Project here for more information on using photovoice with inidividuals who have experienced cancer.