Australian cancer patients prescribed art therapy

Canberra, Dec 1 (IANS): Doctors in Australia are prescribing art classes for cancer patients as part of their therapy.

The Arts on Prescription programmr was originally targeted at the elderly but is now being tested with cancer patients at Greenwich Hospital in Sydney, reports Xinhua news agency.

Andrew Cole, the physician in charge of the cancer rehabilitation clinic, said on Friday the art therapy plays an important part in treating patients.

"Having Arts on Prescription is having another discipline in my team," he said.

Cole said the programme, which is based on a British model, has helped improve the general physical functioning of his patients.

"Our hope is to roll out the programme to other cancer rehab centres across Australia as well," he said.

Jo Finlay, who is recuperating from radiation therapy for breast cancer and a bout of pneumonia, said the art therapy had helped improve her mood and mobility.

"Just to sit here and concentrate on art is quite a luxury... It also reminds you of something we all forget and that is, just concentrate on the moment and don't worry about what the outcome is."

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