BackBone: Interdisciplinary Creative Practice and Body Positive Resilience Full Report

Catherine Baker, Athanasios Tsirikos

    Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


    Scoliosis is an abnormal lateral curvature of the spine with the large majority of cases classed as idiopathic, meaning there is no known cause. Typically, most cases occur in children and young people affecting approximately 3% of the adolescent populace with five out of six cases being female. The BackBone: Interdisciplinary Creative Practices and Body Positive Resilience pilot research study aimed to use art as a form of interdisciplinary research practice to measure the impact of Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS) on wellbeing and body perception. The research aimed to contribute to a better understanding of alternative treatments towards improving quality of life in young females diagnosed with AIS. In particular, concentrating on two highlighted priorities from the Scoliosis Priority Setting Partnership: 1. How is quality of life affected by scoliosis and its treatment? How can we measure this in ways that are meaningful to patients? 2. How are the psychological impacts (including on body image) of diagnosis and treatment best managed. Through interdisciplinary art-based workshops and focus groups with post-operative Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis participants and their families, objective analytical data plus empirical data from transcripts and artefacts was gathered using qualitative and quantitative methods. Workshops explored the aesthetics of imperfection through material investigations that focus on the body as both an object and how it is experienced using the metaphor of tree images. By drawing parallels between the growth patterns of trees that, for complex and often unknown reasons, have grown unexpectedly we explored questions around ideological notions of perfect growth through art making. Uniquely, the pilot project sought to draw upon insights from across the combined disciplines, thinking across boundaries to evoke different ways of knowing and understanding the complexities of body perception through image making.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationLondon, UK
    PublisherBritish Scoliosis Research Foundation
    Publication statusPublished (VoR) - 23 Mar 2023


    • spine deformity
    • scoliosis
    • curved spine
    • art


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