Date of Award


Degree Type

Selective Evidence-Based Medicine Review

Degree Name

Master of Science in Health Sciences - Physician Assistant


Physician Assistant Studies

Department Chair

John Cavenagh, MBA, PhD, PA-C


OBJECTIVE: The objective of this selective EBM review is to determine “Are five sessions of individual based art therapy effective in reducing emotional problems in Swedish women with nonmetastatic breast cancer receiving radiation therapy?”

STUDY DESIGN: This review is based on three randomized control studies, two which were published in 2009 and one that was published in 2006.

DATA SOURCES: All articles used were published in English, in peer-reviewed journals, and found using PubMed, Ebscohost, and Cochrane Review databases.

OUTCOMES MEASURED: For all studies, factors pertaining to emotional problems were measured through self-assessment questionnaires.

RESULTS: Svensk et al found improvement in overall quality of life as well as several subsets. Öster et. al found improvement in social coping resources. Thyme et. al showed improvement in general symptoms, depression, somatic symptoms, and anxiety. Each study also had measured outcomes that did not show improvement with the use of art therapy.

CONCLUSIONS: All studies showed evidence to support improvement in emotional problems after art therapy. However, due to small sample sizes, similar cohorts, lack of replicated outcomes measured between studies, and other factor, additional studies are needed prior in order to determine clinical significance.