From September 2018 - September 2019, Teapot Trust is conducting a multi-site Service Review to evaluate the impact of art therapy in two tertiary rheumatology services in Scotland.

The Service Review is being done in partnership with Royal Hospital for Children, Glasgow and Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Edinburgh. 


  • Dr Patricia Watts, Teapot Trust Art Therapist (Royal Hospital for Children, Glasgow)
  • Emily Farrugia, Teapot Trust Art Therapist (Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Edinburgh)
  • Dr Joyce Davidson, Lead Clinician Paediatric Rheumatology (Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Edinburgh)
  • Dr Jo Walsh, Lead Clinician Paediatric Rheumatology (Royal Hospital for Children, Glasgow)
  • Dr Kristin Leith, Research Co-ordinator, Teapot Trust


To better understand

  • which patients are referred to art therapy;
  • why they are referred;
  • the levels of engagement and acceptability of therapy; and
  • the benefits resulting in improved outcome;

As part of this evaluation project, a standardised service evaluation framework is being developed to facilitate future service reviews in hospitals where Teapot Trust provides early intervention art therapy.

This Service Review also represents a first step in developing evidence-based research to investigate the impact and benefit of art therapy in supporting children and young people in paediatric rheumatology.    


Art therapy interventions in various medical settings are known to contribute to the mental health and wellbeing of patients. In paediatric rheumatology there is a well-documented unmet need for psychological support for children and families coping with chronic disease and its treatment. The role that art therapy could have in this provision is unknown and there is no evidence-based research to help understand its potential contribution.


A retrospective review is being conducted of referrals received in the period 2012-2018 to art therapy from paediatric rheumatology services. A mixed method approach is being used for gathering quantitative, secondary and qualitative data.  Quantitative data has been collected by collating numerical and demographic information from referral forms; art therapist service databases; and patient medical records. Secondary and qualitative data is being gathered from pre-existing service information; the use of outcome measurement tools; end of therapy evaluations; end of therapy reports and patient feedback forms.