Crafty idea benefits persistent pain patients
RIO Market Stall participant Jenni Haynes
A crafty initiative from the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital’s (RBWH) Tess Cramond Pain and Research Centre is helping patients with persistent and chronic pain re-engage in daily activities that they enjoy.
The RIO Market Stall program was established in 2019 and encourages patients of the centre to create, market and sell handmade goods in a supportive environment.
Chronic and persistent pain is a disabling condition that places immense levels of stress on an individual, reducing their engagement in activities that bring them satisfaction and joy.
Since the program commenced as part of the LIFE program, more than 17 patients have participated with this number continuing to grow. Participants have created a range of items including jewellery, Christmas decorations and knitted goods and some have even turned their crafts into a source of income.
RBWH Occupational Therapist Linda Atkinson said the program provides an opportunity for participants to find a sense of identity and purpose which has often been put on hold due to persistent pain.
“Our consumers have multiple talents, skills and creativity and it’s extremely rewarding to see them putting these skills to use again,” Linda said.
“Participation in the program has not only had positive impacts on our patients’ psychological wellbeing, but it has improved their overall quality of life.”
RIO Market Stall participants and patient of the Tess Cramond Pain and Research Centre Jenni Haynes said the LIFE program has completely changed her relationship with pain, allowing her to reconnect with her craft of choice, creating gemstone jewellery.
“Living with chronic pain has devastated my life and I struggle to accomplish activities and normal day-to-day tasks,” she said.
“The program encouraged me to re-engage with art, so I offered to bring in my handmade jewellery supplies.
“Working on my gemstone jewellery has significantly improved my fine motor skills and hand/eye coordination. I find myself relaxing while I create, which reduces my pain.”
Find out more about the Tess Cramond Pain and Research Centre.