Health & Fitness

Why is artwork used in healthcare settings?

If you’ve ever visited a healthcare facility, you’ve probably noticed that there are a few random pieces of art or wall decals dotted around. At first, it may seem that these images are just for decoration. However, there is actually decades-worth of research to prove that imagery and art can have a hugely healing effect on the body.

For those interested in design, architecture, or property development, it is definitely worth considering different art and imagery within your design ideas. And to persuade you further, here are three reasons why.

Art can improve patient outcomes

As briefly mentioned above, art can have a healing effect. Studies show that specific types or pieces of art can improve patient outcomes in healthcare environments. Research suggests it can reduce the amount of time a patient stays in hospital; it can reduce blood pressure and even decrease the amount of pain medication needed.

Art is often a welcomed distraction in clinical settings: A distraction from a devastating diagnosis, from pain, or even from the restlessness some feel after being stuck in the hospital.

Those that reside in healthcare environments can also benefit from arts & crafts programs, with data suggesting that both patients and staff can feel less stressed, anxious, or depressed from the activities.

And benefit staff and families

Patients aren’t the only ones visiting healthcare facilities. Whether it’s staff working the night shift, grandchildren visiting elderly relatives, or a friend waiting with someone in A&E, the healthcare environment can be incredibly stressful for a whole number of stakeholders. Using different art mediums on the walls, floor, or on doors can positively impact the stress, and anxiety patients, staff, and their families feel in waiting rooms. It has even been found to improve socialization between different groups.

It can lower costs – for everyone

With improved patient outcomes, both the patient and the healthcare facility benefit economically.

As art has the power to reduce anxiety, it’s therefore ideal for reducing the number of anxiety-related incidents. It also means that less medication is needed to calm patients – saving them and the center money on prescription drugs. In a similar way, art can alter the pain threshold – ultimately leading to less pain medication being needed. Art in the form of printed panels can also help to reduce costs from a facility management point of view. Printing imagery onto bacteria-resistant panels and pairing these with metal corner guards can ensure that all users’ walls and hallways stay clean and hygienic. Panels can often be a cost-effective way of covering walls, rather than having to regularly re-paint and re-seal.

Final thoughts

There are very obvious benefits to using art within the healthcare setting. It can not only alleviate symptoms for patients but also reduce stress for staff and relax loved ones during their visits. However, art is subjective, meaning you need to use relevant pieces to ensure successful, positive outcomes.

The best way to do this is to use the local area for inspiration. Local woodlands, historical imagery of the surroundings, or using photography by local artists can all help offer a welcoming familiarity to the space. Something that everyone can likely appreciate.

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