When thinking of hospitals, one can be forgiven for immediately associating them with clean, sterile imagery, if not scenes of morbidity and illness. Now, if asked to throw the word art or décor into the mix, it will probably still be quite a stark picture in the mind’s eye because of the institutionalised images we’ve been fed over the decades, if not centuries, about how hospitals should look. One quick search in an image bank will confirm the blue clothes and blank white walls our imagination keeps throwing out. No wonder we dread going there.
Luckily studies have been, and continue to be, conducted on the many benefits of hanging art, especially nature landscapes, in hospitals. The largest study conducted to date that we are aware of, titled: “Beyond traditional treatment … establishing art as a therapy”, showed among many things, that the majority of patients preferred art on the walls instead of nothing. Wouldn’t you?
Five of the key things that research suggests art can assist with, are:
- Reduce stress and anxiety.
- Lower blood pressure.
- Reduce need for pain medication.
- Increase patients’ trust and confidence.
- Be a positive distraction for patients, visitors, and staff.
So the next time you walk into a hospital and notice beautiful art hanging in the rooms and hallways, just remember it is not some overzealous executive wasting funds but rather a method of calming, soothing and healing everyone around you, including those you’re there to visit.
Sources: Healing Photo Art