While it is widely appreciated that art therapy interventions in medical settings contribute to the mental health and wellbeing of patients, there is little to no evidence-based research to make a compelling case for the integration of arts-based therapies into wider healthcare policy, let alone the rheumatological treatment matrix. Thus, available specialist art therapy intervention models for children with rheumatology diseases are provided only through third-sector organisations. When it comes to managing and coping with their illnesses, children with rheumatology diseases receive comparatively less mental health and wellbeing support as opposed to children who suffer with other types of conditions, and many paediatric rheumatology departments do not have embedded Clinical Psychologists. This leaves many paediatric rheumatology patients and their families at a disadvantage in which they may be less likely to adhere to medical treatments and more vulnerable to mental health conditions on down the line.

To address this, the Teapot Trust is designing a research programme to answer the questions:

1.) Does art therapy make a difference to children with rheumatology diseases and their families?
2.) Does art therapy help children adhere to medical treatment programmes?
3.) Does art therapy improve the efficacy of the clinic and enhance care packages?

For current evaluation and research projects see Current Service Reviews and Qualitative Research.