Art therapy focus groups for children and adolescents with epilepsy

Carl E. Stafstrom, Janice Havlena, Anthony J. Krezinski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Children with epilepsy are at risk for numerous psychological and social challenges. We hypothesized that art therapy focus groups would enhance the self-image of children and adolescents with epilepsy. Sixteen children with epilepsy, ages 7-18. years, were recruited from pediatric neurology clinics at the University of Wisconsin to participate in four art therapy sessions. Pre-group assessments included psychological screens (Piers-Harris Children's Self-Concept Scale; Childhood Attitude Toward Illness Scale; Impact of Childhood Neurologic Disability Scale) and art therapy instruments (Formal Elements Art Therapy Scale; Seizure Drawing Task; Levick Emotional and Cognitive Art Therapy Assessment). Developmental levels of drawings were significantly below age-expected standards. Following completion of focus groups, a repeat Childhood Attitude Toward Illness Scale showed no differences between pre- and post-test scores on any measure of this scale. However, subjects and parents were uniformly positive about their group experiences, suggesting a qualitative benefit from participation in art therapy focus groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-233
Number of pages7
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescents
  • Art
  • Art therapy
  • Children
  • Epilepsy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Art therapy focus groups for children and adolescents with epilepsy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this