- •Healing Sock Creatures transformed the trauma of hospitalization into empowerment.
- •Healing Sock Creatures served as symbols of the child's resilience and will to heal.
- •Aspects of the in-patient setting affected Healing Sock Creatures therapy outcomes.
A novel form of expressive arts therapy was developed in a pediatric unit and received enthusiastic support from hospital staff and family members because of their impressions that the children were calmer following therapy, as well as throughout the remainder of the hospital stay. A pilot study was conducted to assess the feasibility of quantifying such impressions by measuring changes in the children's mood by self-report. Twenty-five children (mean age 8.34 years, SD 3.77) were recruited for the study, coming from diverse social-economic backgrounds, ethnicities, and an array of medical diagnoses. The results document improvements in mood for children following therapy sessions, compared to children in a wait-list control group. Additionally, a meta-analysis examining external influences and changes in salivary cortisol levels measured before and after therapy sessions illustrates the importance of considering aspects of the clinical setting when assessing the effectiveness of this and other expressive arts therapies for reducing stress during hospitalization.
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Published online: September 14, 2015
Accepted: August 20, 2015
Received in revised form: August 13, 2015
Received: March 26, 2015
© 2016 Elsevier Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.