• art therapy;
  • complementary therapies;
  • bone marrow transplantation;
  • stem cell transplantation;
  • qualitative research;
  • quality of life

MISCHE LAWSON L., GLENNON C., AMOS M., NEWBERRY T., PEARCE J., SALZMAN S. & YOUNG J. (2012) European Journal of Cancer Care21, 403–411

Patient perceptions of an art-making experience in an outpatient blood and marrow transplant clinic

This study explored blood and marrow transplantation (BMT) patients' perceptions of an art-making experience during BMT treatment. Participants including patients receiving BMT for a variety of cancers (10 men/10 women, aged 20–68) were offered a 1 hour tile-painting activity during treatment. Participants with cognitive impairment and respiratory precautions were excluded from the study. Researchers followed immune precaution protocols for the safety of participants. Data were collected through semi-structured, in-depth interviews with 20 participants to gather information about their perceptions of the art-making experience in a BMT clinic setting. Interview recordings were transcribed verbatim and analysed. Researchers coded transcripts independently and discussed outcomes together to achieve agreement on themes. Twelve themes emerged from the data, with the three most prevalent themes being Occupying Time (20.5%), Creative Expression (13.5%), and Reactions to Tile Painting (13.5%). Other themes included Support (12.2%), Side Effects (7.3%), Other Activities Suggested by Patients (7%), BMT Treatment Process (6.2%), Shared Painting Experience (5.9%), Life Outlook (5.2%), BMT Life Changes (3.8%), Spirituality (3%) and Barriers (1.9%). Through analysis of these themes, researchers have identified this art-making experience as a diversional or meaningful way to spend time during treatment, a medium for creative expression, and a distraction from negative side effects of the BMT process.