The Methodist Hospital, Houston, Texas
In this study we explored the role of figurative art in inpatient settings for cancer patients and the implications this has for art programs in cancer settings. In 2011, an art preference survey was conducted with inpatients in a neuro/oncology unit of Methodist Hospital, asking patients to select their favorite and least favorite images within the following categories: landscape, waterscape, floral, and figurative. Qualitative comments were recorded. Data analysis showed a high rating for realistic landscapes with green vegetation, and figurative art depicting families and children playing. A closer look at the specific elements of the images provided an understanding of the type of figurative art appropriate for cancer patients. Most importantly the study showed the importance of human connection for patients, and the value of having figurative images that are positively reinforcing in oncology settings. However, it is important to note that although patients selected figurative images as their favorite, several patients had sad reactions because it reminded them of family members.
Presented at Healthcare Facilities Symposium & Expo—2012