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A Manual-Based Phenomenological Art Therapy for Individuals Diagnosed With Moderate to Severe Depression (PATd): A Randomized Controlled Study

Journal article
Authors Christina Blomdahl
S. Guregard
Marie Rusner
Helle Wijk
Published in Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal
Volume 41
Issue 3
Pages 169-182
ISSN 1095-158X
Publication year 2018
Published at Institute of Health and Care Sciences
Pages 169-182
Language en
Subject categories Psychiatry


This study investigated the effects of manual-based Phenomenological Art Therapy for individuals living with depression in addition to treatment as usual (PATd/TAU) compared with only treatment as usual (TAU) for individuals diagnosed with moderate to severe depression. Method: 79 adults (men = 29.1%) were included in this randomized-controlled-trial (RCT), multicenter study in Sweden with an intention-to-treat design. Participants were randomized into either the PATd/TAU-group (n = 43) or TAU-group (n = 36). Data were collected at baseline and at end of treatment. The main outcomes were depression levels and self-esteem. Secondary outcomes were suicide ideation and sickness absence. Results: The PATd/TAU-group showed a significant decrease of depression levels. The PATd/TAU-group returned to work to a higher degree than the TAU-group. Self-esteem significantly improved in both groups. Suicide ideation was unaffected. Conclusion and Implications for Practice: Manual-based PATd works as expected, being an effective treatment, and contributes to recovery for individuals with moderate to severe depression. This outcome needs to be confirmed and its long-term effects examined in further studies.

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