gms | German Medical Science

27th German Cancer Congress Berlin 2006

German Cancer Society (Frankfurt/M.)

22. - 26.03.2006, Berlin

Art Therapy (AT) within the oncological clinic and ambulatory rehabilitation – An Example at the Alfried Krupp Krankenhaus

Meeting Abstract

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  • corresponding author presenting/speaker Senta Connert - Alfried Krupp Krankenhaus, Essen, Düsseldorf, Deutschland
  • M.H. Seegenschmiedt - Alfried Krupp Krankenhaus, Essen

27. Deutscher Krebskongress. Berlin, 22.-26.03.2006. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2006. DocIS022

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: March 20, 2006

© 2006 Connert et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Aim of Study: To improve the individual creative potential of tumor patients during oncological therapies and thereafter by using art therapy, including the relief of specific tumor symptoms or improvement of several quality of life aspects:reduction of pain and fear, improvement of the psychological destabilization, depression, general weakness, physical indisposition and fatigue.

Patient & Methods: AT was offered in three different clinical situations.

(1) AT was openly offered since 1999 to all in-patients of the oncological clinic during or after curative cancer treatment (surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy) or during palliative symptomatic treatment; in 2004, AT was applied to 122 patients either within a group (120 minutes per week; n = 75) or as individual therapy (60 minutes per week; n = 47).

(2) During the out-patient period AT was offered since 2003 for radiotherapy patients; in 2004 it was offered within a group (for 120 minutes per week; n = 17) especially for breast cancer patients irradiated at our comprehensive breast cancer center.

(3) Since 2003, AT was applied during ambulatory rehablitation for chronically ill patients (n = 86 in 2005) and since 2004 for oncologic patients (n = 36 in 2004) as group therapy (90 minutes per week).

The practiced AT attitude was resource-oriented and dependent on the individual patient’s acceptance. The individual arguments with the disease using creative means contribute to the immediate physical relaxation and long-term psychological mental relief leading to a positive attitude and better disease accomplishment.

Results: During AT patients experience themselves more intensively and find better out about “what is to come“; by painting their own picture and through the social contact of a group they learn to better communicate their own situation. They can develop and attain a new "image and perspective of their own life", or a better feeling for themselves (self picture, self value feeling) and recognize their own authority in handling their individual fate themselves.

Conclusion: Art therapy improves overall presentness of tumor patients (Dt. Ärzteblatt 2006) and most of the cancer specific symptoms. Art therapy in our hospital is offered as adjuvant measure during and after curative and pallitive tumor therapy, is integrated into the complete psychosocial / psychooncological service concept, into quality management of psychosocial services within our comprehensive breast cancer center (since 2004), is introduced during the orientation week for patients with breast cancer and is part of a palliative care course for nursing staff (since 2005).