An art therapy group intervention for cancer patients to counter distress before chemotherapy

Rossana L. De Feudis, Giusi Graziano, Tiziana Lanciano, Manuela Garofoli, Andrea Lisi, Nicola Marzano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The aim of this study was to investigate the feasibility and effectiveness of a single group session based on art therapy (AT) for adult cancer patients to reduce anxiety and distress before anticancer treatment. Methods: A non-randomized pre-post study design was adopted. Sixty-two patients took part in one of twenty-seven “one-off” sessions held over a four-month period. Sixty-six patients, who simply received routine medical treatment, served as the control group (CG). Results: The intervention was appropriate to patients’ needs and feasible in the context of their routine medical care. In contrast to the CG, the intervention group(IG) participants demonstrated a decrease in symptoms of anxiety, drowsiness and tiredness. Conclusions: The intervention proved suitable to the medical routine of patients’ care. The clinical implications of the AT protocol and future research aimed at testing it vs. a different type of psychosocial intervention in a randomized controlled study are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalArts and Health
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019


  • anxiety
  • art therapy
  • Cancer patients
  • chemotherapy
  • psychosomatic distress symptoms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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