The Effects Of Art Therapy On Hypertension In Black American Women
Mullarkey, Ellen L.
Norton, Colleen K
Yearwood, Edilma L
70 million Americans have hypertension affecting one out of three Americans. Heart disease was the leading cause of death in America in 2015. The American Heart Association published an algorithm for implementing alternative approaches to treating hypertension. Creative art therapy was not included. Art therapy blends the therapeutic process of psychotherapy with the art of painting, drawing and sculpture to help express emotions and beliefs that are too difficult to convey in verbal and written communication.The health belief model is a framework that examines why people do not follow the recommendations of health care providers due to real and perceived barriers. The process of art therapy may allow one to express and understand feelings that are influencing their beliefs, which are creating barriers to making lifestyle modifications to manage hypertension.The purpose of this pilot study was to investigate the effects of creative art therapy on hypertension. A descriptive pilot study investigating the feasibility of conducting a single group, pretest-posttest study, determining the effects of art therapy on hypertension was conducted. Participants were hypertensive, urban, black American women recruited from a Faith Community Nurse program. Blood pressures were read before and after eight, one-hour art therapy sessions in a church hall, and at four weeks following completion. Participants completed questionnaires about the experience.The sample size was seven and a Wilcoxon Signed Ranks Test was utilized for the analysis, which determined that art therapy made no statistically significant change in blood pressure. A linear regression analysis of the sum of blood pressure changes in all seven participants found a cumulative trend of lower blood pressures as a result of art therapy. The sample size was too small to draw any inferences. This concludes that the trend of lower blood pressure as a result of creative art therapy warrants further research.
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