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Developing online group art psychotherapy for children with long-term health conditions

Lookup NU author(s): Arman Iranpour, Dr Sharmila JandialORCiD, Dr Sarah WighamORCiD, Dr Simon Hackett



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2024 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Background: Paediatric long-term physical health conditions such as juvenile idiopathic arthritis can have a significant impact on the mental health and well-being of children and their families. Arts-based therapies have been shown to have a beneficial effect for this group. Aims: The aim of the study was to develop an online group art therapy intervention for children with long-term physical health conditions. Methods: The process of developing the intervention was informed by guidelines for the development of complex interventions and comprised four key stages: (1) an expert development process, (2) formation of a stakeholder group and (3) decision-making team, (4) identification of relevant literature and use of existing theories/a theoretical model. Results: The GAIN (Group Art Therapy Intervention for communicating Needs of children with long-term conditions) was developed. GAIN comprises a treatment manual, six 90-minute online sessions for children (age 8–11 years) and six 30-minute parent-led home sessions. Conclusions: Next steps are to evaluate the GAIN in a feasibility study. Implications for practice/policy/future research: The intervention has potential to benefit children and their families; it offers a psychosocial approach for integration with medical care of paediatric long-term physical health conditions and aligns with NHS England’s focus on supported self-management of healthcare.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Watts P, Zubala A, Iranpour A, Jayne K, Jandial S, Wigham S, Hackett S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: International Journal of Art Therapy: Inscape

Year: 2024

Pages: ePub ahead of Print

Online publication date: 29/05/2024

Acceptance date: 22/04/2024

Date deposited: 11/06/2024

ISSN (print): 1745-4832

ISSN (electronic): 1745-4840

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/17454832.2024.2347906


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Funder referenceFunder name
Newcastle Hospitals Charity