Art Therapy Research Paper

Excerpt from Research Paper :

Art therapy entails creative procedures that work well with provision of a safe environment, and trust, which allows patients with psychotic disorders to express desirable emotions. Creative procedures promote awareness, expression as well as enhance insight hence promoting an individual mental health. Art therapy improves quality of life and at the same time promotes social functioning. To people with schizophrenia, art therapy reduces negative symptoms and help patients to build up new ways of connecting with other people. In this regard, this paper evaluates an article based on the cost effectiveness and effects of group art therapy to people with schizophrenia. The paper highlights the article, purpose and hypotheses used by the researchers. Additionally, this brief overview highlights the research design, major findings, strengths, weaknesses, and the value of the article in the field of psychology and to the article consumer.

Killaspy, H., Barrett, B., Patterson, S., & Tyrer, P., & Waller, D.(2010). The MATISSE study: A randomized trial of group art therapy for people with schizophrenia. BMC Psychiatry, 10: 65-73.

Article Type

"The Matisse study: A randomized trial of group art therapy for people with schizophrenia" written by Crawford and associates is an academic journal that explores the clinical and cost effectiveness of art therapy for people with schizophrenia. Given that the article is an academic journal, it establishes and presents new research scrutiny besides assessing existing research relating to art therapies for people with schizophrenia. The article represents original research, assesses other articles and books that hold similar ideas.

Purpose and Hypotheses

Based on the systematic review of the literature, the purpose of the research was to determine the cost effectiveness of art therapy intervention. Particularly, the article examines the effect of referral to group art therapy. More so, the article examines the cost effectiveness of adding art therapy to a patient's existing program of treatment. To meet the objectives of the study, Crawford et al.2010 engaged several hypotheses which include:

I. Referral to group art therapy links to enhanced global functioning for 2 years compared to referral to standard care only or attention control

II. Group art therapy referral is cost effective compared to standard care only or control treatment

III. Group art therapy links to enhanced mental health, well-being, care satisfaction and social functioning compared to attention control treatment referral or standard care

IV. Patients referred to group art therapy attend a considerable section of groups available compared to patients who submitted to "activity" groups.

Notably, the principal hypothesis for the foundation of the research is on symptoms of psychosis at 2 years as well as global functioning. The researchers chose 2 years because past research studies on psychosocial involvements for schizophrenia people shows considerable enhancements in global functioning in 2 years period after the culmination of therapy.

Procedure (Method/Design)

To test the aforementioned hypotheses, the Crawford et al.2010 employed the MATISSE study (Multi-centre study of Art Therapy in Schizophrenia-Systematic Evaluation) approach. MATISSE study is a pragmatic, parallel group, controlled and randomized trial of art therapy referral and standard care, attention control "activity" group referral and standard care or standard care only. The researchers recruited their study sample from community based and inpatient mental health. More so, some of the participants were recruited from social care services and others from different health centers in North Ireland and England. The respondents were aged above eighteen years, and diagnosed with schizophrenia. This confirmation was made through evaluation of case notes through operationalized criteria. The research randomized participants through remote telephone and independent randomization. Notably, the researchers did independent randomization service through permuted stacked blocks.

The researchers made available both activity and art therapy groups to the participants once a week for 1 year. The researchers used a practical design that allowed them to test the effect of art therapy referral of patients in a common clinical practice. The researchers made a few amendments to the research design such increment of participant from 9 to 20 months. Given the significance of arts therapies in schizophrenia treatment, the researchers supported total schizophrenia symptom score as a co-principal upshot measure.

Major Findings/Points

According to Crawford et al.2010, schizophrenia is a complicated psychiatric mental disorder that alters a person's thoughts, perception and behavior, and affects 1 in one hundred people. However, patients with schizophrenia develop different experiences and symptoms. The positive symptoms of schizophrenia include delusions and hallucinations. Moreover, some patients experience different extent of energy loss, impaired attention and speech (Crawford & Patterson, 2007). While patients get treatment with respect to their demonstrated symptoms, what is quite crucial in preventing relapse is the recovery process. For this reason, social skills and activities involving creative art are recommended.

Social and psychological interventions are commonly utilized together with pharmacotherapy in efforts of promoting the social and health upshots of schizophrenia patients (Jones, 2005). Apparently, antipsychotic medication lowers the schizophrenia symptoms besides lowering the probability of relapse. Most patients who do not stick to the treatment program as well as those who do not experience residual symptoms experience relapse and reduction in their social functioning (Crawford, Killaspy, Barrett, Patterson & Tyrer & Waller, 2010). According to the researchers, involvement and interest in art therapy is a positive channel where patients lowers stress and other undesirable effects that affect the recovery process.

The MATISSE study offered a prospect to determine the cost effectiveness, and effects of group Art therapy compared to control treatment for schizophrenia patients (Crawford, Killaspy, Barrett, Patterson & Tyrer & Waller, 2010). While the authors have not given the actual findings of their research, they highlighted, different significant, points concerning art therapies in the background section.

Arts therapies are intervention models used to people with mental disorders such as schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders (Jones, 2005). They entail combination of psychotherapeutic methods with actions directed in enhancing innovative expression. Conspicuously all arts therapies use the creative process in supporting self-expression within a certain period. According to Crawford et al., through group art therapy, patients gain a different experience and build up ways of interacting with other people. The predominant aim of group art therapy is to strengthen dialogue and insight-based mental build up (Crawford, Killaspy, Barrett, Patterson & Tyrer & Waller, 2010). This is because the ingredients of art therapy are the procedure of making art, and the link that develops between a patient and the therapist.

More importantly, group art therapy helps patients with severe and complex mental issues in managing their signs and symptoms thereby reducing continued use of drugs from mental and healthcare service. While other psychological intervention plans may as well as yield positive results, group art therapy reduces negative symptoms of mental issues thereby cutting down on the harm of these symptoms to patients and the society. Moreover, art therapy helps patients to get accustomed to their problems or fully recover from their mental illness (Gilroy, 2006). Group art therapy is effective in reducing unenthusiastic signs. Notwithstanding which modality applied, art therapy is equally effective in reducing negative indicators in patients with psychotic disorders (Crawford, Killaspy, Barrett, Patterson & Tyrer & Waller, 2010). However, Crawford and associates acknowledge that there is little research performed to determine the effects of group art therapy to people with schizophrenia. Based on the reviewed literature, art therapy enhances self-esteem, health and social functioning of patients.


The article is well arranged in a systematic manner. It holds a brief abstract outlining the main content and sections of the article. The executive summary highlights in brief the background information of the research, the methodology employed by the researchers and discussion. However, principal findings and study results miss in this section as well as in the body of the paper. In this regard, the article does not offer the reader the finding and results, which are a vital section of any research paper.…

Sources Used in Document:

reference list at the end of the paper. Moreover, the methods section is reasonably sectioned an aspect that enhances the understanding of the reader.

Value of Article to Field of Psychology

The article is of exceptional value to the field of psychology given that it touches on the importance and the cost effectiveness of art therapy to people with schizophrenia. Particularly, through the article, psychologists can gain knowledge with respect to reduction of negative effects of schizophrenia as well as in enhancing the relationship between a therapist and a patient. More so, the articles form a strong basis for integration of psychosocial and social intervention in treatment of schizophrenia.

Value of Article to You, as a Consumer and Trainee

As a consumer and a trainee in the field of psychology, this article offers more information on the significance of social activities in treatment of psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia. I would use the information to enhance schizophrenia patient's health and improve their social functioning. With respect to research, the article has helped me understand the key constituents of a research such research design, study sample, ethical consideration to mention but a few. More so, the article has helped me understand the significance of literature review in the sense that it helps one ascertain gaps in literature, which consequently helps a researcher in determining a research topic.

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