A Clinical Tool for Evaluating Emotional Well-Being: Self-Drawings of Hospitalized Children

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Abstract

This study investigated how the emotional wellbeing of children with congenital heart defect (CHD) hospitalized for heart surgery was expressed in self-drawings before and after their surgical treatment. A sample of 293 children produced self-drawings (hospitalized n = 168, non-hospitalized n = 125). The results indicate significant differences between drawings by hospitalized compared to non-hospitalized children, including size, color and omission of body parts. These differences were interpreted in line with previous analyses of projective drawing. We conclude that self-drawing evaluation is a useful tool to reveal insights into emotional wellbeing, promoting safe and easy communication.

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