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Exhale & Exchange workshops; singing and health

5 June 2017

Members of the public were joined by patients and researchers from Royal Brompton Hospital and the National Heart and Lung Institute (NHLI) at Imperial College in the first “Exhale and Exchange” workshop at the Wellcome Collection in Bloomsbury. 

Exhale & Exchange is a pilot event series from Royal Brompton Hospital and NHLI, exploring the potential of arts workshops to stimulate engagement between researchers, patients with chronic lung conditions, their carers and members of the public. Using arts methodologies such as singing, creative writing and visual art the workshops aim to provide a language for the sharing of perspectives that flattens any perceived hierarchies between patients, carers, researchers and the public and that is accessible to all.

The first workshop was held on Thursday 1 June and used voice, singing and sound boards as a way of exchanging perspectives on lung health. The event was held in the Wellcome’s Reading Room, an innovative hybrid of gallery, library and events space.

One member of the public who attended the workshop said “I thought today felt like a wave of positivity and it was very empowering. It takes away the feeling of isolation and I believe many people walked out with a sense of coming together and sharing strength.”

Adam Lewis, a research physiotherapist at Royal Brompton Hospital also commented “I think this event helped us, as health professionals, to listen to patients in a different way. One participant created a poem as part of a soundscape and the line ‘the rattle gives a sweet release’ really resonated with me and made me realise that sounds that might seem like there’s something wrong to a health professional may actually mean quite the opposite for a patient.”

Another researcher agreed and said “I loved the opportunity to hear about lung disease from the other side. I thought I was a specialist - how much I have to learn from my patients! It was the perfect environment to hear patients about how they live with their disease - the good and the bad.”

Future workshops are planned so if you would like to find out more please email us at research-findoutmore@rbht.nhs.uk

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