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Explore (NY). 2007 Jul-Aug;3(4):365-71.

Anthroposophic art therapy in chronic disease: a four-year prospective cohort study.

Author information

  • 1Institute for Applied Epistemology and Medical Methodology, Freiburg, Germany. harald.hamre@ifaemm.de

Erratum in

  • Explore (NY). 2007 Nov-Dec;3(6):553.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Anthroposophic art therapy (painting, clay modeling, music, and speech exercises) is used in 28 countries but has not yet been studied in primary care.

OBJECTIVE:

To study clinical outcomes in patients treated with anthroposophic art therapy for chronic diseases.

DESIGN:

Prospective cohort study.

SETTING:

Fifty-four medical practices in Germany.

PARTICIPANTS AND INTERVENTIONS:

One hundred sixty-one consecutive outpatients (primary care: n = 150), aged 5-71 years, were treated by 52 different art therapists.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Disease and symptom scores (physician and patient assessment, respectively, 0-10) and quality of life (adults: SF-36 Health Survey, children: KINDL Questionnaire for Measuring Health-Related Quality of Life in Children and Adolescents). Outcomes were measured after 3, 6, 12, 18, and 24 months; SF-36 and symptom scores were also measured after 48 months.

RESULTS:

Most common indications were mental disorders (60.9% of patients, primarily depression, fatigue, and anxiety) and neurological diseases (6.8%). The median number of therapy sessions was 15; median therapy duration was 161 days. All outcomes except KINDL improved significantly between baseline and all subsequent follow-ups. Improvements from baseline to 12 months were: disease score from (mean +/- standard deviation) 6.69 +/- 1.72 to 2.46 +/- 1.90 (P < .001), symptom score from 5.99 +/- 1.69 to 3.40 +/- 2.08 (P < .001), SF-36 physical component summary measure from 44.12 +/- 10.03 to 48.68 +/- 9.47 (P < .001), and SF-36 mental component summary measure from 35.07 +/- 12.23 to 42.13 +/- 11.51 (P < .001). All these improvements were maintained until last follow-up.

CONCLUSION:

Patients receiving anthroposophic art therapy had long-term reduction of chronic disease symptoms and improvement of quality of life.

PMID:
17681256
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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