While public spaces in today’s hospitals are a backdrop for fine art that encompasses many different styles and looks, including abstract art, patient spaces are different in the type of art that is appropriate. In medicine we know that there is no one treatment, no one magic pill that treats all conditions and cures all illnesses. I believe that this is also true in creating art programs that are patient-centered and have the therapeutic value to reduce stress and improve outcomes. Here is an example.
Imagine that you’ve been out jogging . You’ve twisted your ankle and have ended up in the emergency room. As you sit there in pain and frustration , hoping that it’s only sprained and not broken , you look at the painting hanging in the waiting room. It’s a picture of a mountain stream gently swirling through sundappled rocks. You close your eyes and feel the cool water. The sound of the water is soothing and calming . Perhaps time seems to pass more quickly because you have been positively distracted by the picture. You have received therapeutic benefit from the image.