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Friday, June 14 • 1:30pm - 4:45pm
To Counteract Abuse in Health Care with Forum Play: A pilot study with doctors and nurses in Sri Lanka (DOUBLE SESSION) LIMITED

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Limited Capacity seats available

Program Description: We use Forum Play to explore experiences of abuse in health care. A joker leads the work from warm up exercises to short improvised plays based on the participant’s stories. 

Abstract: This workshop starts with a short presentation of a research project conducted in Colombo, Sri Lanka, evaluating Forum Play as an intervention against abuse in health care (AHC). Then we use Forum Play to explore our own experiences in health care. A joker leads the work from warm up exercises to short improvised plays based on the participant’s stories.

Studies show that AHC is prevalent, causing long lasting suffering in patients. Important aspects may be dehumanization and/or discrimination. The aim of this project was to assess the possibilities for using a participatory theatre technique, Forum Play, as a method for reducing/preventing AHC.

We offered four workshops, two with medical doctors and two with nurses. The workshops were led by a Joker and lasted four hours. Focus was on collaborative exploration of AHC situations, identified by the participants. Before and after the workshop participants answered a questionnaire about AHC, and focus group discussions were held after each workshop.

Our study showed that Forum Play is an eye-opener, useful to promote critical thinking and create awareness. As the workshops unfolded and the participants became comfortable with the situation, more stories were told and AHC became a shared experience. At the follow up participants more often reported that they had been involved personally in cases of AHC compared to before the workshop.

The project not only promote critical thinking by questioning power hierarchies within health care, it also puts the spotlight on power asymmetries based on gender and ethnicity. It empowered people by showing a broad repertoire of alternatives in situations characterized by power asymmetries.

Challenging Questions
1.  What patient stories are there that tell about abuse and power asymmetries in health care?
2. What kind of power does the patient possess to prevent abuse in health care?
3. How can Forum Play prepare health care staff to counteract abuse in health care?



Katarina Swahnberg

Professor, Linnaeus University
Katarina Swahnberg professor in Global health has conducted research interventions using Forum Theatre and Forum Play in different projects to counteract abuse in health care (Sweden and Sri Lanka), and violence against women and trafficking (Nepal), starting 2008.

Friday June 14, 2019 1:30pm - 4:45pm MDT
Wolf Den 005 (Lower Level) 2200 Bonforte Blvd, Pueblo, CO 81001, USA