Patient perceptions of a 1-h art-making experience during blood and marrow transplant treatment

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Patients with various forms of cancer receiving blood and marrow transplant (BMT) treatment at an outpatient clinic develop chemotherapy-related symptoms and an increased desire to use complementary and alternative medicine in order to address these symptoms. Art-making offers an inexpensive way to pass time and relieve symptoms during long hours in treatment. Twenty-one BMT patients painted a tile and participated in research. Researchers used semi-structured interviews to understand patients’ experiences with art-making. Interviews were recorded, transcribed and coded independently by researchers who met to agree on themes. Ten themes emerged from the data including, meaningful activity (32.2%), expression (18.7%), passing time (13.2%), BMT process (12.1%), social outlet (8.1%), therapy-related symptoms (7.3%), negative aspects of painting (5.9%) and encouragement to paint (2.6%). The results of this study revealed that art-making experience can provide patients a meaningful activity during treatment and an outlet to express their feelings.

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