The Origami Wish Tree: The Impact of Art Therapy Using Origami with Cancer Survivors

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Lundberg, Joann
Master of Arts in Art Therapy
This phenomenological study’s aim was to obtain qualitative evidence on how origami can improve cancer patients' level of hope and connection to community. Seven adult cancer survivors were recruited during a community event, Cancer Survivors Day, to participate in the study. They were instructed to write or draw a wish on origami paper and to fold it into their design of choice. Afterwards participants filled out a questionnaire regarding their experience during the project. The data was collected from the questionnaire, systematically organized and analyzed using thematic analysis. After the Survivors Day event, origami pieces were transferred to the Wish Tree, a large Japanese maple sculpture on display in the waiting room in the Compressive Cancer Center at Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital. The public artwork, transformed into a symbol of hope and community with each origami addition, beautified the space and contributed to the healing potential of the Cancer Center.