Lawson, L.M., Williams, P., Glennon, C., Carithers, K., Schnabel, E., Andrejack, A., & Wright, N. (2012). Effect of art making on cancer-related symptoms of blood and marrow transplantation recipients. Oncology Nursing Forum, 39, E353–E360.doi: 10.1188/12.ONF.E353-E360
To examine the effects of a one-hour art-making session during bone marrow transplantation (BMT) treatment
Interested patients were randomly assigned to the sequence to receive either the art-making session or the control condition first and were then crossed over to the other condition. Art-making sessions were 40–60 minutes. Patients were provided with a ceramic tile, brushes, and paint to create a tile at no cost. Measurements were obtained pre- and postintervention. Patients waited an average of 6.8 days between the treatment and control conditions.
Patients were undergoing active antitumor treatment.
A crossover pre/post-test design was used.
Symptoms declined in post-test measures in both conditions, with significant decline post art making (p = 0.01). There was no significant change in anxiety scores. Salivary cortisol levels declined significantly in both conditions. Time between conditions ranged from 1 to 28 days.
Art making appeared to reduce treatment-related symptoms but had no apparent effect on anxiety.
This pilot study showed that the art-making session appeared to have an effect in reducing treatment-related symptoms; it is not clear if the art making specifically was effective, or if any diversional activity would have the same result. Findings do not support an effect of art making on anxiety.