Art and Craft Group

Art and craft therapy used in cancer care aims to encourage the patient to express themselves creatively and spiritually in order to come to terms with their condition.

Following a diagnosis of cancer, patients may feel insecure and isolated, and may experience anxiety regarding the future. Rehabilitation programmes are vital in supporting not only the patient, but also relatives through this difficult phase. Research has demonstrated that offering diversional and occupational activities in an ambient environment enables patients to experience an improved quality of life.

Without question, the arts in general can and do enrich and enhance life for patients and their care-givers. A recent Hospice Arts Project demonstrated the value of the scheme in encouraging self-development and awareness, together with a sense of involvement.

The visual arts can play a large part in reducing the feelings of isolation and segregation that most patients experience following their diagnosis, and can assist in creating channels of communication. The role of personal mediator, working with those who display negative attitudes and cognitions, is helpful in effecting a positive change.

Involvement in art promotes greater self-awareness, and gives a means of emotional and self-expression. It also stimulates a sense of autonomy in a situation which engenders passivity and feelings of helplessness; and promotes a broader interest in life, apart from illness and its treatment.

The aims of the arts and craft groups are to:

  • Restore self-esteem;
  • Develop a sense of self-worth;
  • Encourage relaxation;
  • Minimise anxiety/stress;
  • Sharpen concentration;
  • Enable openness/honesty;
  • Improve quality of life.