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A Study of the Effects of Visual and Performing Arts in Health Care

This research study carried out at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital from 1999 to 2002 designed a unique approach to scientifically evaluate the effects of visual and performing arts in healthcare. The research explores whether visual and performing arts can have an effect on psychological, physiological and biological outcomes of clinical significance.

Research was carried out in eight clinics at the hospital. The results of provide evidence that the integration of visual and performing arts into the healthcare environment has a range of outcomes that could have clinical significance. For example:

  • Live music performed in the waiting are of the Antenatal High Risk Clinic was effective in lowering the blood pressure of patients waiting for their appointments;

  • Patients in the Day Surgery Unit who were exposed to visual arts and live music during the preoperative period required significantly less induction agents to induce anaesthesia;

  • Two thirds of staff (clinical, nursing and administrative) responding to a Staff Evaluation indicated that the environment of the Chelsea and Westminster hospital (with architecture, light, colour, visual arts and live music) greatly influence their decision to apply for a job there or remain in their current position.

The study was supported by the King's Fund.

Follow this link to download the Chelsea and Westminster study as an Adobe Acrobat document: 458Kb

Further details: Hospital Arts, Tel: 0208 846 6821,

Website: www.chelwest.nhs.uk/aboutus/hospital_arts.htm

Email: arts@chelwest.nhs.uk

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