Art Therapy Treats Asthma

Monday 17th April 2010

Art therapy could improve the quality of life of children with severe asthma, researchers claim. Researchers at National Jewish Health explain that creating artwork can allow children with asthma to better express their concerns about the condition whilst also calming children who are understandably anxious about suffering an asthma attack. Researchers now hope that art therapy could be used by physicians and families to help children to manage asthma.

The research, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, studied the well being of 22 children aged between 7-14 years old. 11 children were given hour long weekly art therapy lesions designed to encourage discussion about asthma and living and coping with a chronic illness. The other 11 child participants were given talking therapy and asked to complete evaluations. Researchers found that children with severe asthma participating in art-therapy lessons were less anxious and had improved problem solving and communication skills.

Researchers now hope that art therapy and other creative therapies can be trialled by physicians and families to improve the quality of life of young children with chronic asthma. Asthma is currently thought to affect 1 in every 8 children in the UK.

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