2021 CMSC Annual Meeting

Remote Art Therapy Activities Proposal during a COVID-19 Pandemic in Multiple Sclerosis


Background: SARS-CoV-2 infection poses a potential threat to people with autoimmune disorders, including multiple sclerosis (MS).With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for social isolation, Art Therapy can contribute to dealing with questions arising from fear, uncertainty and unpredictability in the face of the atypical and unprecedented situation experienced. Objectives: Present the activities developed during Art Therapy workshops at a distance. Methods: Participated 9 women with Relapsing-Remitting MS (n=5/56%) and Secondary Progressive MS (n=4/44%), age between 28 and 63 years (Mean = 45, SD = 13.65), with EDSS from 0 to 7. They constituted 3 groups (3 people in each) of remote Art Therapy. All were submitted to individual anamnesis and asked to provide basic materials, such as sheets of A4 paper, scissors, white glue, gouache or acrylic paint, brushes, marker pen/crayons or colored pencils, copybook and cut-out magazines. The 22 workshops took place via WhatsApp once a week, lasted 1 hour ach and consisted of practical and theoretical approaches under the themes: coping and overcoming adversity, self-knowledge, self-esteem and resilience. Results: It was necessary to make adaptations of the face-to-face Art Therapy to the remote. The challenge was to find solutions for the practical part, in which the participants used expressive artistic resources to give concrete form to the perceptions and feelings that emerged from the intimate. The participants’ writings revealed that the remote workshops’ proposal was fully approved (n=9/100%). Motor difficulties were identified (n=1/11%) and increased feelings such as friendship (n=6/67%), tolerance (n=3/33%), respect (n=1/11%), empathy (n=2/22%) and patience (n=2/22%). Conclusions: Art Therapy has promoted therapeutic listening and social interaction, conditions considered important for the well-being and quality of life of participants in situations of social isolation. In addition, the proposal included self-perception and reflection on the capacity for resilience, as well as stimulating memory, creativity, self-esteem and self-knowledge.