A Literature Review
Little is known about the role of art and the impact it can have on the healing process of returning war veterans within the context of Veterans Administration (VA) healthcare settings. Of special concern is the lack of information on how visual art can impact veterans who suffer from PTSD. The research team undertook an extensive review of the literature reassessing the existing theories and guidelines on the use of visual art in general acute-care healthcare settings with the specific objective of developing restorative healthcare environments for returning war veterans who might experience some variant of war-related PTSD. Case studies on the use of visual imagery during art therapy sessions and visits to war memorials were discussed, and their relevance to healthcare explored. The stress and anxiety experienced in general acute care settings was examined in light of PTSD-related emotional and cognitive deficits. Finally the paper proposed a reconceptualization of evidence-based guidelines for visual art to create restorative healthcare environments for returning war veterans with PTSD.
Published in Environment and Behavior Journal—2010
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