They found that only six studies included a control group (only one of which included randomization) in this field.
Half reported a significant reduction in trauma symptoms and another study found a decrease in the levels of depression in clients treated with art therapy.
This article deals with research that focuses on measuring the effectiveness of art therapy. The first is the definition of the term “effectiveness.” We adopted the definition suggested in Hill et al.
(1979); namely, “the attribute of an intervention or maneuver that results in more good than harm to those to whom it is offered” (p. The current review takes a positivist perspective (Holton, 1993) and relates to the measurement of effectiveness reported in quantitative studies that have been conducted in the field.
This paper presents the latest 27 studies in the field that examine the effectiveness of art therapy with adult clients and divides them into seven clinical categories: cancer patients, clients coping with a variety of medical conditions, mental health clients, clients coping with trauma, prison inmates, the elderly, and clients who have not been diagnosed with specific issues but face ongoing daily challenges.
It underscores the potential effects of art therapy on these seven clinical populations, and recommends the necessary expansions for future research in the field, to enable art therapy research to take further strides forward.
Level 1 refers to randomized controlled trials (RCT's), level 2 refers to nonrandomized two-group studies, and level 3 refers to nonrandomized one-group studies.
The second challenge has to do with the definition art therapy.
They were unable to conduct a meta-analysis due to the clinical heterogeneity and lack of sufficient information in the studies.
In addition, they reviewed 12 qualitative studies that provided data on 188 clients and 16 therapists.