Art therapy for hospitalised congenital heart disease patients: a method of psychological intervention at the IRCCS Policlinico San Donato Milanese Hopsital

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E. Quadri *
C. Farè
E. Palmero
G. Campioni
M. Chessa
E. Callus
(*) Corresponding Author:
E. Quadri |


The current work is the presentation of a new project at the IRCSS San Donato Milanese University hospital, in the sphere of Psychocardiology. Hospitalised children and adolescents often face psychosocial difficulties and the psychological condition of their parents frequently has an impact on their wellbeing. A strong need to take care, beyond the mere cure, is necessary in the hospital settings - that is a need to pay attention also to psychological aspects apart from the medical ones. Art therapy could be an answer for this need: the literature has outlined its efficacy in hospital, also due to the higher inclination of children and adolescents toward creativity. By providing and analysing the drawings of 10 young patients with congenital heart disease (CHD), this study outlines how the art therapy program gives these patients the opportunity to freely and directly express fears and anxieties about medical procedures and their disease. Moreover, through the creation of a tangible product, psychologists can better evaluate the psychological troubles of young patients and provide them and their parents with more focused and personalized support. This study also focuses on the perception of the utility that parents have of this new therapeutic intervention, offered at the Department of Paediatric Cardiac Surgery, confirming that art therapy is perceived as being effective and is definitely a good instrument in helping to “take care” of children and adolescents suffering from CHD.

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