Effects of art therapy using color on purpose in life in patients with stroke and their caregivers

Kim MK, Kang SD.
Yonsei Med J. 2013 Jan 1;54(1):15-20. doi: 10.3349/ymj.2013.54.1.15.

SOURCE:  Art Institute, Sungshin Women’s University, Seoul, Korea.


PURPOSE:  Patients with stroke suffer from physical disabilities, followed by mental instability. Their caregivers also suffer from mental instability. The present study attempted to address the degree and the change of the level of Purpose in Life (PIL) in patients with stroke and caregivers by applying art therapy using colors.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:  Twenty-eight stroke patients with a good functional recovery or a moderate disability and their 28 caregivers were selected and evaluated. The period of the study between the stroke and color therapy was more than 6 months. Patients and caregivers were divided into the color therapy (28) and control groups (28). A questionnaire, which measures the level of PIL was conducted separately for patients and caregivers prior to the first session of color therapy (2 hours per week, total 16 sessions). The final examination was performed 5 months after the last color therapy session.

RESULTS:   There was significant difference between before and after color therapy when the level of PIL was measured both in patients and caregivers (p<0.01). These were the same between the color therapy group, compared with the control group (p<0.01). As color therapy progressed to the late phase, patients and caregivers applied increasing number of colors and color intensity.

CONCLUSION:  These results prove that color therapy will improve PIL of the patients with post-stroke disability and caregivers. Furthermore, color therapy would be a useful adjuvant for improving the quality of life of the patients with stroke and their caregivers.