Creative activities improve the quality of life of young cancer patients

THE ESSENTIAL

  • In France, 2,200 children aged 0 to 17 are diagnosed with cancer every year.
  • The survival rate of children and adolescents with this disease has improved dramatically and is now over 80% of all cancers combined.

“Children affected by cancer suffer from psychological strain and loss of quality of life”, said researchers from the University of Colorado in Boulder (USA). According to Jennifer Raybin, who edited work published in the magazine Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncological Nursingcreative activities have the ability to help these young patients through the difficult times they may experience during their treatment.

To reach this conclusion, the scientists recruited 98 children aged 3 to 18 and their parents. Of the 83 participants included in the final analysis, 18 did not benefit from art therapy, 32 did some creative activities, and 33 did several. Activities performed by the young volunteers included making mini-puppets, reusing artistic masks, implementing movements with props such as balloons, scarves and a parachute to adapt to the loss of bodily functions, and using yoga breathing exercises to control pain.

A link between art therapy and a better quality of life in children with cancer

According to the results, a significant improvement in the quality of life was observed in patients who had engaged in multiple creative hobbies. The researchers found that these patients’ posture appeared to change several times during treatment, reflecting their changing mood and improved self-esteem. According to the study, art therapy also helped reduce symptoms of the disease, such as pain and nausea.

These young patients “They are so tired of taking medication for their symptoms. It’s important to think about the connection between mind and body and any kind of complementary therapies that we could add to help them cope with the physical and psychological symptoms.” explained Jennifer Raybin in a press release.

“Curing cancer is not enough. Art therapy helps patients to cope with the physical and psychological problems of this serious disease, while offering a pleasant aspect of a difficult treatment”, added the researcher.

Leave a Comment