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Mindfulness-Based Art Therapy for Cancer Patients

21 Years
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Trial Information

Mindfulness-Based Art Therapy for Cancer Patients

Psychosocial interventions, especially supportive-expressive group therapies, have been
associated with significant improvements in health status, quality of life and coping
behaviors, in patients with cancer. The purpose of the proposed pilot research study is to
investigate a newly developed group therapy for cancer patients, MBAT. This proposed,
randomized, controlled study follows a successful preliminary investigation of MBAT
conducted at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. MBAT integrates known benefits of art
therapy, group therapy, and mindfulness-based stress reduction. Each of these fundamentally
different modalities has documented usefulness in the treatment of cancer patients. The
multi-modal approach is designed to enhance both the supportive and expressive aspects of
the group experience. The study will be done with 96 patients who have a variety of cancer
types. Participants will be matched for age and assigned randomly to either the MBAT
experimental group or a non-intervention control group. Both groups will continue to receive
their usual oncologic/medical care. The MBAT program consists of eight weekly meetings of
two and one half-hours in length. At the end of the eight weeks, participants in the control
group will be crossed over to the experimental intervention arm for an additional eight
weeks. Participants will be assessed pre- and post-intervention on measures of
health-related quality of life, psychological distress, and coping, using standardized
outcome instruments (SF-36, SCL-90-R and COPE). Our long-term goal is to collect sufficient
data to determine the overall efficacy of this promising intervention and to identify which
patients are particularly likely to benefit from MBAT.

Inclusion Criteria


- Diagnosis of cancer or cancer recurrence within the past 2 years.

- Able to tolerate 8 weekly groups, 2 1/2 hours in length


- Less than 4 months from original or recurrent diagnosis or beyond 2 years

- Physically unable to attend groups

- Non-stabilized major mental disorder

- Children

- Comprehension of written and spoken English at a level of less than 4th grade.

Type of Study:


Study Design:

Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Factorial Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Educational/Counseling/Training

Principal Investigator

Daniel A. Monti, MD

Investigator Role:

Principal Investigator

Investigator Affiliation:

Thomas Jefferson University


United States: Federal Government

Study ID:

R21 AT000683-01



Start Date:

April 2002

Completion Date:

December 2003

Related Keywords:

  • Cancer
  • alternative medicine
  • art
  • cancer
  • combination cancer therapy
  • creative-expression
  • group therapy
  • holistic
  • human therapy evaluation
  • meditation
  • neoplasm /cancer chemotherapy
  • coping
  • gender difference
  • outcomes research
  • psychological aspect of cancer
  • psychological stressor
  • quality of life
  • racial /ethnic difference
  • stress management
  • support
  • behavioral /social science research
  • patient oriented research



Thomas Jefferson University Hospital/Kimmel Cancer Center Philadelphia, Pennsylvania  19107