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Márta Csabai

Institute of Psychology, University of the Reformed Church, Budapest, Hungary

Short bio:

Márta Csabai is a professor of clinical and health psychology at the Institute of Psychology at the University of the Reformed Church in Budapest, Hungary. She has been working on developing professional and training programs for health psychology in Hungary for more than 30 years. Her research primarily focuses on the social and psychological aspects of physical illnesses, representations of the body, and the well-being of health professionals. She is the founder of the Foundation for Women in Healthcare. She has published and edited 20 books and has served on the editorial boards of several journals. She has also contributed to the development of teaching software and scientific documentaries.

Developing drawing tests in clinical health psychology. Experiences with kidney transplant and cancer patients


Research in clinical settings has shown that administering questionnaires to seriously ill patients can be arduous and time-consuming. However, using drawings as an alternative has the potential to provide significant benefits and added value. In this regard, we will share our clinical and research experiences with two tools that we have developed. The first tool, the Draw-a-Person and Transplanted Organ Task, involves drawing the body and the new organ after transplantation. The characteristics of the drawings correlate with anxiety, depression, and medical parameters, allowing us to detect and support the psychosomatic integration of the new organ. The second tool, PRISM-D, is a drawing version of Büchi and Sensky’s Pictorial Representation of Illness and Self Measure. After validating the tool with 500 chronic patients, we tested it with 150 cancer patients and found it to be highly effective in exploring illness representations and developing coping strategies. These drawing tools can be used throughout the healing process for testing and interventions in clinical health psychology without adding undue burden to the patient.

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