New study documents arts’ healing power

Posted on: May 29, 2013

In Friday’s (5/24) Pacific Standard, Genevra Pittman writes, “Music, art, and dance therapy may relieve anxiety and similar symptoms among people with cancer, according to a new analysis of past studies. Researchers who analyzed results from trials conducted between 1989 and 2011 said the benefits tied to creative arts therapies were small, but similar to those of other complementary techniques such as yoga and acupuncture. ‘People with cancer very often feel like their body has been taken over by the cancer. They feel overwhelmed,’ said Joke Bradt, a music therapist from Drexel University in Philadelphia. ‘To be able to engage in a creative process … that stands in a very stark contrast to sort of passively submitting oneself to cancer treatments,’ Bradt, who wrote an editorial published with the new review, told Reuters Health. The analysis included 27 studies of close to 1,600 people who were randomly assigned to receive some form of creative arts therapy or not, during or after cancer treatment. … On the whole, people with cancer who were assigned to creative arts treatments reported less depression, anxiety, and pain and a better quality of life during the programs than those who were put on a wait list or continued receiving usual care.”

Posted May 29, 2013