Endocrine Abstracts (2012) 29 P610

Art and its role in therapeutic patient education

R. Kurashvili, E. Shelestova, L. Kurtsikashvili & L. Tsutskiridze


National Center for Diabetes Research, Tbilisi, Georgia.


Art-painting, poetry, music, is an inexhaustible source of inspiration and motivation. Patient education (TPE) in chronic diseases is a long and tedious process. To achieve high motivation one must use all existing possibilities. Art is the most potent tool to influence the conscious and subconscious of a person to motivate him/her to adhere to treatment and healthy lifestyle. Literature, and mainly W. Shakespeare, could be used for TPE, as deep understanding of existing health problems are reflected in his works. Shakespeare’s worlds are the mirror of the various aspects of medicine during the renaissance. Most of the problems, such as obesity/overweight, excessive appetite, and alcohol intake, hereditary factors, depression, influence of every day’s life on person’s wellbeing are described in Othello, Hamlet, Richard III, Henry VI, Love’s Labor’s Lost, Comedy of Errors and others. Longville’s words (Love’s Labor’s Lost) ‘fat paunches have lean pates; and dainty bits make rich the ribs, but bankers out the wits’, may be used as strong motivational element when eating habits and weight control are aimed at. We are widely using painting, literature, music in patient education process. The questionnaires used to assess the effect of art showed that almost all patients give positive evaluation to such approach. Patients we are working with express their impression of the art as follows ‘it penetrates deeply into the subconscious and helps to change the habitual world’. Case reports, presented by W. Shakespeare can be widely used to stimulate educational process.

Declaration of interest: The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest that could be perceived as prejudicing the impartiality of the research project.

Funding: This research did not receive any specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sector.

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