Brief bedside visual art intervention reduces pain, anxiety in cancer patients

A brief bedside visual art intervention (BVAI) facilitated by art educators improved mood and reduced pain and anxiety in a study of inpatients with hematological cancers.

In the European Journal of Cancer Care study, 21 female and 10 male patients admitted to the inpatient bone marrow transplant and haematologic services at Mayo Clinic-Rochester were invited to participate in a BVAI where the goal of the session was to teach art technique for approximately 30 minutes. A total of 19 female and 2 male patients participated.

Significant improvements in positive mood and pain scores, as well as decreases in negative mood and anxiety, were observed. Patients perceived BVAI as overall positive (95%) and wished to participate in future art-based interventions (85%).

The findings indicate that experiences provided by artists within the community may be an adjunct to conventional treatments in patients with cancer-related mood symptoms and pain.

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