East Alabama Medical Center, Opelika, Alabama
The research department at American Art Resources, in collaboration with Auburn University, conducted a study in the Women’s Psychiatric Unit at East Alabama Medical Center, which investigated the impact of different visual art conditions on the agitation and anxiety levels of patients. Art was displayed on a rotation basis on the walls of a small lounge occupied by patients during a 3 to 4-day stay. By measuring the rate of PRN incidents and collecting nurse feedback, researchers found that less PRN medication (in response to visible signs of anxiety and agitation) was dispensed to patients on the days when a realistic nature image of a landscape was displayed as compared to days when abstract art or no art was displayed. The reduction in PRN medication was estimated to save the facility $30,000 per year. This makes a powerful business case for an evidence-based approach to art.
Presented at Society for Architectural Historians—2009 and SECAD—2010
Published in Journal of Mental Health and Psychiatric Nursing—2011; Healthcare Design Magazine—Sept 2011
White Paper Available