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Young cancer patients benefit from creative arts therapy

Painting, making puppets and other forms of creative art offer a lot more than entertainment. In this episode of NewsMD's "Health Fusion," Viv Williams explores a study that shows how creative art therapy improves symptoms, mood and more for young cancer patients.

Paint
Painting and other creative arts benefit kids with cancer, study shows. (Bob King / rking@duluthnews.com)
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ROCHESTER, Minn. — Art has the power to help people through tough times. That idea prompted a nurse practitioner who was formerly a dancer to study how creative arts therapy might help young cancer patients.

Dr. Jennifer Raybin and her team at the University of Colorado Medical Center designed activities meant to help the pediatric patients express and process emotions. The children participated in making cloth mini-me dolls, turning radiation masks into art, doing yoga and using props such as balls and scarves for playful movement.

The study shows that creative arts therapy results in a better quality of life for young cancer patients.

“Curing cancer isn’t enough,” says Raybin. “Creative arts therapy helps patients negotiate the physical and psychological issues surrounding serious illness, while providing an enjoyable aspect to otherwise difficult treatment.”

The study is published in the Journal of Pediatric Oncology Nursing.

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Follow the  Health Fusion podcast on  Apple,   Spotify and  Google podcasts. For comments or other podcast episode ideas, email Viv Williams at  vwilliams@newsmd.com. Or on Twitter/Instagram/FB @vivwilliamstv.

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