Effectiveness of art therapy with paediatric populations affected by medical health conditions: A systematic review

Laura Clapp, Emily Taylor, Simona Di Folco, Victoria Mackinnon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Visual art therapy has been widely used with children with medical health conditions within various settings. However, less is known about its effectiveness. The scope of this systematic review is to shed light on what benefit art therapy may have for ill health adjustment in youth populations.

Methods: Electronic databases (Psychinfo, Medline, CINAHL, ERIC, Scopus, Embase, and Child and Adolescent Studies) were searched (1806-2017). Systematic methods for study selection and data extraction were used.

Results: Twelve studies (N = 404 participants, 318 in the control group; aged between 2 and 19 years old, with various medical conditions) were included. Ten studies reported significant improvements concerning at least one outcome with an overall inconclusive trend towards effectiveness.

Conclusions: Visual art therapy interventions were found weak in evidence quality. However, future evidence based research designs could show the effectiveness of these interventions in health care settings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-201
JournalArts and Health: An International Journal for Research, Policy and Practice
Volume11
Issue number3
Early online date5 Mar 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Mar 2018

Keywords

  • art therapy
  • chronic illness
  • adolescents
  • children
  • paediatric

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