Using arts psychotherapy in psycho-oncology as a means of coping with stress and anxiety
More details
Hide details
Hôpital Kirchberg, Luxembourg
Submission date: 2016-10-27
Final revision date: 2017-01-03
Acceptance date: 2017-01-05
Publication date: 2017-03-01
Corresponding author
Lony Schiltz   

Hôpital Kirchberg, Luxembourg, 10 Rue Gabriel de Marie, L-2131 Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Arch Psych Psych 2017;19(1):47-55
Aim of the study:
According to the state- of-the-arts in psycho-oncology, cancer, as well as the accompanying medical treatments, is a source of intense emotional stress. As arts psychotherapies favour the imaginary and symbolic elaboration of the tensions of daily life, as well as the re-appropriation of one’s body and personal history, it could play an important role in treatment measures for patients suffering from cancer.

Subject or material and methods:
We present an exploratory study with patients treated in an acute cancer ward or in outpatient settings (total N= 42). They assisted to 12 sessions of arts psychotherapy adapted to their physical condition. The evaluation study is based on a mixed methods design, combining the qualitative and quantitative exploration of stories written under musical induction with the qualitative analysis of a final semi-structured interview.

The comparative and multidimensional analysis of the texts documents a significant evolution. Themes of existential importance come out of the phenomenological analysis of the semi-structured interview, and the cross checking of the texts and the interview points to recurrent categories.

The findings are discussed at the light of the state-of-the-arts in psycho-oncology and psycho-traumatology. The specific action of arts psychotherapy is analysed.

Arts psychotherapy could become a valuable treating option within a multidisciplinary biopsychosocial approach in psycho-oncology, provided that certain precautions are taken.

Journals System - logo
Scroll to top