Patients with cancer at St Bartholomew’s benefitting from art therapy

29 Jun 2016

With our funding, patients with cancer at St Bartholomew’s Hospital – part of Barts Health NHS Trust – are benefitting from art therapy sessions to reduce feelings of anxiety.

Art therapy - artwork Some of the artwork

Art therapy can be a powerful tool for this, as well as expressing feelings. This new £15,302 project will expand the existing service, aiming to improve patient wellbeing.

A new art therapist - David Little - is working with patients on the chemotherapy and radiotherapy wards, spending time chatting with patients and exploring whether they’d like to take part in an art therapy session.

Megan Tjasink, Barts Health’s resident art therapist, explains the significance of this project:

“We’re exploring whether it’s the psychological support element [talking with the therapist] or the artistic expression – or a combination – that underlies the benefit.

“There’s very little evidence globally on the impact of art therapy, so results from this could have significance around the world.”

More hospitals further afield are considering how they can implement art therapy into existing services, meaning these results will be important in showing the possible benefits of art therapy.

Feedback from patients has been very positive so far:

“Talking with a therapist about my illness was helpful and the artwork itself was relaxing and therapeutic which surprised me”, one said.

Another patient added: “It took my mind off the chemo and having someone to listen to me other than a family member was cathartic.”

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