Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Nursing (MAN)

First Advisor

Joyce P. Miller DNP, RN

Second Advisor

Jacqueline Sumner, DNP, RN

Third Advisor

Kathleen Clark, DNP, RN


Children undergoing cancer treatment may experience detrimental adverse side effects that can be remedied with complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), such as art therapy. Pediatric hematology-oncology patients often have trouble processing and expressing emotions, coping with and healing from the effects of long-term hospitalizations for cancer treatment. A pilot project to use art therapy with pediatric hospitalized patients undergoing cancer treatment at a Midwest teaching hospital will be introduced. The pediatric patient will be able to choose between drawing, painting, modeling clay, playdoh, or collaging for their art therapy session. Educational sessions for the nurses working at the bedside in the pediatric unit will teach them about the positive effects of art therapy sessions, including increased quality of life and overall well-being of their patients. Nurses will learn how to create a healing environment through their presence, guided by Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring. The results of this proposed art therapy project will be evaluated using a post-survey completed by the nurse, parent, or guardian. A model of The Coping Bucket is used to represent a visualization of pediatric patients using art therapy as an expressive outlet for stress regulation. The goal of the art therapy sessions is to encourage healthy coping, improvement in quality of life, and help to provide a healing environment for the pediatric patient.


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