Research Policies and Results
Download the paper 'An Effective Way of Promoting Children’s wellbeing and Alleviating Emotional, Behavioural andMental Health Problems - the Latest Research' as a .pdf file
Journal of Play & Creative Art Therapies
PTUK's research policies and activities are based on our
view of play therapy practice to ensure the wellbeing of children.
This shows the importance of the evidence base upon which our competency
framework, the foundation of training, learning and practice is constructed.
PTUK's approach to play therapy practice is evidence based.
In turn the evidence base is updated by original research
and practice based evidence. The main emphasis of our current research
programme is practice based evidence which is stored and analysed in the
database of play therapy clinical outcomes. This uses data derived from practice as a by product of clinical
governance. The outcomes have been demonstrated to be replicable
since 2008. It is also used to justify funding on play therapy services. When
PTUK was formed there was a dearth of quantitative research upon the
effectiveness of play and creative arts therapies. The latest findings (are
based on over 8000 cases which show that between 74% and 83% of children receiving
play therapy from PTUK Members exhibit a positive change. This continuous
research programme places PTUK firmly in the lead of play therapy research
The Latest PTUK Research Results - August 2011
A summary of the results, presented in more detail in a
PTI/PTUK paper An Effective Way of Promoting Children’s Wellbeing and
Alleviating Emotional, Behavioural and Mental Health Problems - the Latest
Research shows that between 74% and 83% of children receiving play therapy,
delivered to PTUK/PTI standards, show a positive change.
The more severe the problems the greater the percentage of
children showing a positive change.
74% for those with slight/moderate problems, 83% for those
with severe problems.
Age also has an effect on improvement:
Generally speaking the younger the child the greater the
percentage of children showing a positive change: 80% at age 6 -
71% at age 12 - early help is the most effective.
Girls show a higher improvement rate than boys, 79% compared
The average cost of using play and creative arts therapies
is estimated at £693 per child. This estimate is based upon an overall average
of 15.4 sessions, applying a cost per session of £45. For every £1 invested
annually in targeted services designed to catch problems early and prevent
problems from reoccurring, society benefits by between £7.60 and £9.20.
(National Economic Foundation 2011). Play and creative therapies should
therefore give a notional return to society of at least £5267 in the longer
term. However this does not give the full picture because there are many short
term benefits, specific to the setting, for example: better academic results
and less stress for teachers; more successful fostering placements; faster
response to medical treatment.
The statistics in this report are based on analyses of data
selected from a total database of 8026 cases, with 10,744 pre and post therapy
observations by referrers and parents received from 507 PTUK/PTI registered
The full six page paper 'An Effective Way of Promoting
Children’s Wellbeing and Alleviating Emotional, Behavioural and Mental Health
Problems - the Latest Research' is available for you to download.
It is felt that the main objective, set some five years ago,
that the research priority was quantitative research to establish the
effectiveness of play therapy has now been achieved in the UK. Whilst this type
of research will continue, especially in other countries to ascertain if there
is a similar beneficial effect, there now needs to be a change of emphasis. We
propose to develop three main areas:
- The proportional use and the benefit of the various creative
arts media that make up the Play Therapy Tool-Kit.
- The effectiveness of play and creative arts therapies upon
various conditions such as trauma, forms of autism, ADHD, anger etc.
- Provide more encouragement and help, in the form of data,
for individual qualitative research projects that explore new areas.
Please email your comments to Jeff Thomas - Director of
Research at: firstname.lastname@example.org