Dr. Upali Nanda continues to the key researcher for finding the evidence behind evidence-based art. In a recently published study she and Dr. Sarajane Eisen examine the impact of artwork on mental health patients. She summarized the study in an email:
“In this paper we showed that viewing a realistic nature images reduced the patient need for anxiety medication in mental health patients. We could even translate the finding to a dollar amount.”
This is the first time that effects of artwork on patients have been studied in a mental healthcare setting. Some important findings:
- Realistic nature art can have a therapeutic effect on patients.
- Realistic nature art is significantly better than abstract art & representational abstract art.
- Art can save hospitals money because less medication is needed for agitation and anxiety
Agitation and anxiety is typically treated with PRN medications such as Haldol and Ativan. Becuase realistic nature art reduces the need for PRN medication hospitals save money. This article estimates a savings of $30,000 per year. As the chart below shows, the estimated annual cost for medications when patients view nature art is much less than when then when they have no art or have abstract art.
If you would like to read the full article email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send it to you.
Nanda, U; Eisen, SL; Owen, D and Zadeh, R – Effect of visual art on patient anxiety and agitation in a mental health facility and implications for the business case Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2850.2010.01682.x
Upali Nanda, PhD, Assoc. AIA, EDAC VP, is the Director of Research at American Art Resources