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How Artwork Can Promote Mental and Emotional Healing

art consulting servicesIn the modern age, many healthcare organizations now understand the importance of wall art in hospitals and other facilities to promote physical healing. Back in 2013, more than half of 129 veterans’ medical centers surveyed offered bedside arts programming and more than 40% had rotating art exhibitions, permanent collections, or commissioned works of art. Since then, working with art consulting services for hospitals and healthcare facilities has become even more commonplace, as studies have shown that art for healthcare facilities can actually distract from physical pain and help patients heal more quickly after surgery, major injuries, and invasive treatments.

But our mental and emotional states play a significant role in our physical well-being. Artwork reduces anxiety, stress, and the perception of pain due to the positive effect it has on the mind. And for those diagnosed with mental health conditions, art can have a big impact on quality of life.

Researchers have believed that the physical environment used for psychological treatment can drastically affect the outcome of that process, as well as the daily experiences of patients. Changes in the design of these facilities can decrease pathological behavior and patient violence while improving attitudes, staff-patient interactions, and overall morale.

One study conducted in 2011 found that art consulting services for hospitals specializing in mental health treatment could be of great value to patients and staff. In the study, three different types of art — abstract art, nature-based abstract representation art, and realistic nature works — were introduced into the unit lounge of a psychiatric holding unit. Researchers found that patients viewed the artwork frequently but did not react physically or verbally to the realistic nature piece and the nature-based abstract representational piece. Abstract art, in this environment, was the subject of some negative responses. However, both staff members and researchers concluded that any type of art produced more positive results in patients than having no art at all.

They determined this based on the amount of PRN — an anti-anxiety medication administered on a need-only basis (e.g., when patients experience elevated levels of agitation) — prescribed on any given day during the study. On days when realistic nature photography or the nature still life were displayed, there was a noticeably lower ratio of PRN per patient prescribed, as compared to days that featured the abstract art or no art at all. But even when the abstract art was displayed, the reduction in the average PRN prescription per day was significant as compared to days with no art.

Being able to reduce agitation and anxiety in mental health care settings is an essential finding in terms of patient well-being. But it’s also key for the facilities themselves. In the case of this study, it’s important to note that if nature photography were displayed, the hospital could save $27,526 per year on PRN prescriptions. This means that working with art consulting services for hospitals could have monumental implications in terms of treatment costs and patient experience. Essentially, if healthcare facilities prioritize the installation of art, they could potentially reduce the need for medications like these without sacrificing the quality of care. That can have a positive outcome in terms of budgetary concerns and help make other treatments more effective overall.

To find out how our artwork for healthcare facilities can improve your environment and patient satisfaction, please contact us today.