Art and Physical Therapy in Pediatric HCT

Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) logo

Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC)




Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation
Art Therapy
Physical Therapy


Behavioral: Physical Therapy
Behavioral: Art and Physical Therapy

Study type


Funder types

Other U.S. Federal agency


1891731-38-22 (Other Grant/Funding Number)

Details and patient eligibility


The purpose of this study is to compare the effect of a combination of art therapy (AT) and physical therapy (PT) to PT only in children undergoing hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT). Each child will receive daily AT and PT or only PT for 5 days per week for 2 weeks. These sessions will begin approximately on day 15 following the transplant. Prior to starting the sessions and following 2-weeks of sessions, self-care and mobility skills will be measured. During each session, the following variables will be measured: heart rate variability (i.e., time between heart beats) using a small monitor on the chest (about the size of a quarter), walking distance using an accelerometer (similar to wearing a watch), and self-reported happiness and excitability. Although results cannot be guaranteed, it is expected that each group will benefit and demonstrate improvements in emotional state, self-care, and mobility skills.

Full description

This quantitative randomized clinical trial will examine the effect of a collaborative art therapy (AT) and physical therapy (PT) intervention as compared to a PT only intervention in children undergoing a hematopoietic cell transplant. We hypothesize that physiological, emotional, selfcare, and mobility as measured by heart rate variability, Self-Assessment Manikin, walking distance and steps, and Pediatric Disability Inventory Computerized Adapted Test will demonstrate greater improvement for the AT and PT group as well as identify media that more effectively impact these physiological and health outcomes. Findings from this project may provide scientific evidence for increasing the uptake of AT and PT in children undergoing HCT.


20 estimated patients




5 to 18 years old


No Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion criteria

  • between ages 5 to 18
  • Clinical Diagnosis of hematological disease
  • Undergoing Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation (HCT)
  • Within the inpatient hospital treatment phase of HCT

Exclusion criteria

  • Less than age 5
  • Older than age 18
  • Central nervous system impairments (e.g., cerebral palsy)
  • Genetic diseases (e.g., Down syndrome)
  • Cognitive impairment

Trial design

Primary purpose

Supportive Care



Interventional model

Parallel Assignment


Single Blind

20 participants in 2 patient groups

Art and Physical Therapy
Experimental group
45-minutes of AT immediately followed by 30 minutes of PT Monday through Friday for 2 weeks. Targeting media that offer fluidity and tactile input, two were chosen for this study: oil pastels week 1 and gouache without brush during week 2.
Behavioral: Art and Physical Therapy
Physical Therapy
Active Comparator group
PT Monday through Friday for 2 weeks.
Behavioral: Physical Therapy

Trial contacts and locations



Central trial contact

Cindy Dodds, PhD; Stephanie Wilson, OTR/L

Data sourced from

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