The Effect of Group Art Therapy on Loneliness and Hopelessness Levels of Older Adults Living Alone: A Randomized Controlled Study

Florence Nightingale J Nurs. 2021 Oct;29(3):271-284. doi: 10.5152/FNJN.2021.20224.

Abstract

Aim: This study was aimed to test group art therapy using clay as a medium as a method to cope with feelings of loneliness and hopelessness in older adults.

Method: This study was a randomized controlled study. A total of 60 older adults who lived alone were enrolled in the study. Thirty subjects were randomly assigned to six 1.5-hour weekly sessions of group art therapy using clay, and interviewed face-to-face twice (intervention group (IG)), and 30 subjects were randomly assigned to be interviewed face-to-face twice (control group (CG)). The effects of interventions were measured using the UCLA Loneliness Scale (UCLA-LS) and the Beck Hopelessness Scale (BHS). Loneliness and hopelessness levels in the IG and CG were measured at the beginning (pre-test) and the end (post-test) of the study. This study was conducted using the CONSORT statement. The group art therapy trial is registered at the US National Institutes of Health (ClinicalTrials.gov) #NCT04295083.

Results: A statistically significant difference was found between the pre-test and post-test scores of the IG and CG, with respect to the loneliness and hopelessness levels among older adults living alone.

Conclusion: Clay-based group art therapy can contribute toward decreasing the sense of loneliness and hopelessness in older adults. Nurses using group art therapy for older adults will realize the psychological healing aspects and effectiveness of this intervention and recognize it as an effective method for the psychological growth of older adults and the reduction in their levels of loneliness and hopelessness.

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT04295083

Grant support

The authors declared that this study has received no financial support.