Shriners Galveston Hospital will implement a therapeutic art program for children and youth with burn injuries. This project will use art media and individually-tailored activities to help patients meet developmental milestones. Therapeutic art also allows patients to process their experiences associated with hospitalization and achieve a sense of self-expression, independence and control.
Burns are the third leading cause of death for US children and often result in prolonged hospitalizations and surgical procedures. To a young patient with a critical burn injury, hospitalization is often confusing, frightening and confining. Many young patients also experience mental and physical forms of stress due to the surprising nature of their injuries. As a result, young patients often seclude themselves in thought and are hesitant to socialize with others.
The Therapeutic Art Project at Shriners Galveston Hospital uses art media and the patient's resulting artwork to explore feelings, reduce anxiety and increase self-esteem. The program is designed to help patients with burn injuries release bad memories and reach for new possibilities through a returned sense of well-being. Therapeutic art is a powerful tool that helps children express their emotions without words and use those expressions to embrace hope.
The Therapeutic Art Project will deliver activities to 200 children with burn injuries annually to increase: 1) non-verbal communication skills; 2) self-expression of thoughts and feelings related to hospitalization; and 3) positive self-esteem.
Burn patients participating in therapeutic art are documented to demonstrate reduced anxiety, improved mood and increased cooperation with medical staff.