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Therapeutic use of the Arts for Patients with Multiple Sclerosis

US Neurology, 2017;13(2):82–9 DOI:


People with multiple sclerosis (MS) face a wide variety of physical, emotional, and social challenges. A multidisciplinary comprehensive care approach is recommended for the management of MS and its consequences, and non-traditional treatments are increasingly considered by patients and health care providers, particularly for the promotion of wellness in the context of this chronic disease. Previous research has demonstrated the benefits of the therapeutic arts (art therapy, dance and movement therapy, and music therapy) in addressing some of the physiological, psychological, cognitive, social, and spiritual needs of patients facing a variety of chronic illnesses. Our review of the literature suggests that therapeutic art can be beneficial to individuals with MS, particularly in promoting self-efficacy, emotional well-being, and motor control. However, the body of evidence is limited, and further research is needed regarding the outcomes and mechanism of action of therapeutic arts in MS to better understand their role in the management of the consequences of the disease.
Keywords: Music therapy, art therapy, dance therapy, multiple sclerosis
Disclosure: Lisa Gallagher and Francois Bethoux have nothing to disclose in relation to this article. No funding was received in the publication of this article.

Authorship: All named authors meet the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) criteria for authorship of this manuscript, take responsibility for the integrity of the work as a whole, and have given final approval to the version to be published.

Open Access: This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License, which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, adaptation, and reproduction provided the original author(s) and source are given appropriate credit.
Received: June 03, 2017 Accepted: July 17, 2017
Correspondence: Lisa M Gallagher, Cleveland Clinic Arts & Medicine Institute, 1950 Richmond Rd/TR308, Lyndhurst, OH 44124, US. E:

Keywords: Music therapy, art therapy, dance therapy, multiple sclerosis