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Co-creating poetry for communicating individuals’ emotional experience of living with HIV

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Caroline ClaisseORCiD, Professor Abi DurrantORCiD



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of a conference proceedings (inc. abstract) that has been published in its final definitive form by Lab4Living, Sheffield Hallam University, 2020.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


We report on three ‘co-creation workshops’ that aimed to qualitatively understand self-care practices for living well with HIV. Taking a participatory, arts-based approach, the research team formed a partnership of designers, peer researchers and experts in the lived experience of HIV. 17 adults living with HIV participated in the workshops in total, engaging in creative making activities and responding to questions about self-expression, self-care practices, receiving care, and the role of healthcare professionals in this care. This co-creative work resulted in three visual poems that are intended to inform the person-centred design of supportive care management services. Our innovative analytic method draws on Found Poetry and Visual Inquiry, to make sense of material artefacts that participants created to represent their experiences and the group discussion that took place. Creative responses to the data, formed by participants and by the researchers (a communication designer, a peer researcher who is a poet, and an interaction designer with expertise in social psychology), captured idiographic understandings of lived experiences. The poems communicate the psychosocial dynamics within self-care practices, plus the challenges of sharing such practices with healthcare professionals. Our contribution is two-fold. First, we offer new qualitative insights into the practice of self-care for living and ageing with HIV, a health context remaining under explored at Design4Health. Such insights are transferable to wider discourses on supporting the management of long-term conditions. Second, we offer reflection on the efficacy of our co-creative methods to deliver findings about complex experiences through a medium that retains emotional resonance in its expression. We consider the transferability of our methodological insight for utilising Poetic Inquiry in research.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Claisse C, Kasadha K, Durrant A

Editor(s): Kirsty Christer, Claire Craig and Paul Chamberlain

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: Design4Health

Year of Conference: 2020

Number of Volumes: 3

Print publication date: 01/07/2020

Online publication date: 01/07/2020

Acceptance date: 22/05/2020

Date deposited: 23/10/2020

Publisher: Lab4Living, Sheffield Hallam University


Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9781838111700