A Survey Approach: The Use of Art Therapy with Chronic Illness Populations

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Gardner, Kayla
Master of Arts in Art Therapy
Living with a chronic illness, can cause a variety of negative symptoms that include daily struggles, emotional disturbance, and psychosocial factors like depression and anxiety that take a toll on an individual's well-being. Everyone experiences difficult life events like this in their own way. This thesis study examined the chronic illness populations and started to assess individual needs to coping with these ongoing symptoms. The researcher was interested in exploring the effectiveness of art therapy to improve coping strategies for individuals living with chronic illnesses. The research method was an online survey that was outsourced to chronic illness support groups. The results showed the importance of art making as well as relaxation as a coping skill for this population. This information guided future research opportunities of what type of art therapy interventions could be effective concerning coping strategies.