Abstract and Keywords
Creative approaches are needed to enhance the experiences of children and adolescents diagnosed with chronic and life-limiting illness in the culture of modern medical care. These young people suffer an array of physical and psychological symptoms, while frequent and extended hospital stays isolate them from normal family and peer support in an environment often experienced as threatening by those most vulnerable to it. Fortunately, these patients are well suited to the healing effects of the expressive arts and the support and community the arts can create. The federally funded HeArts & Hope project marries art to technology via a computerized “immersive” multimedia environment that uses the media of the visual arts and surround-sound music. This article outlines the development, usage, and assessment of this art and technology merger and includes preliminary data on its efficacy. Preliminary results confirm the project's progress toward achieving its specific aims.
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