Giedrė Bulotienė1, Monika Stančiukaitė2, Meda Sutkevičiūtė2
1National Cancer Institute, Vilnius, Lithuania
2Vilnius University Medical Faculty, Lithuania
Art therapy is a form of psychotherapy. The therapy process is based on the fact that human thoughts, feelings which arise in the subconscious may be easier conveyed by images than words. Because of the longer life-expectancy, number of oncology patients living with diseases caused by psycho-emotional stress is increasing. Although, scientific studies have proved that art therapy positively affects various areas of cancer patients lives, therapy in Lithuania is poorly accessible.
Aim: Evaluate the influence of art therapy to cancer patients psycho-emotional state.
Methods: The art therapy session were organized at the Vilnius University Oncology Institute from September to December 2015. Women with cancer were involved in the study and HAD, Distress scales and semi-structured interview were used to evaluate their psycho-emotional state.
Results: 17 respondents were interviewed. HAD scale showed that 1 patient had depression, 5 – anxiety. Distress thermometer assessment after therapy, compared with assessment before therapy, significantly reduced. Distress scale assessment after therapy, between women who came more than once, was significantly lower than women who came once. In the questionnaire before therapy 2 women their physical well-being evaluated as good, 9 – satisfactory, 1 – bad and after therapy 9 named as good, 4 – satisfactory, 1 – bad. Before therapy 4 women their emotional well-being named as good, 5 – satisfactory, 3 – bad and after therapy 9 named as good, 3– satisfactory, 2 – bad.
Conclusions: According to the distress thermometer, evaluation of the answers to the questionnaire before and after the therapy, it can be concluded that art therapy helps patients to reduce stress, improve their psycho-emotional, physical well-being.