A Perspective on the Development of Art Therapy for Art in Hospitals Download PDF

Journal Name : SunText Review of Arts & Social Sciences

DOI : 10.51737/2766-4600.2021.028

Article Type : Short commentary

Authors : Bando H

Keywords : Art in hospitals; Art therapy; Artworks; Masking tape; Hospital art


Art in hospitals would be effective for patients physiologically and psychologically. Artworks were born and developed as the expression of the heart. Art therapy has great power in maintaining and improving physical and mental health. As to the hospital and medical facilities, the construction and accessibility have become the important issues, which may influence patients to large extent. Authors have been involved in art in hospitals, where several artworks have set in the wall made of masking tape. In addition, clinical study for elderly people using this showed significant improvement. Further development of various hospital art will be expected.


Recently, art in hospitals have been known and in focus [1]. It would be effective for patients physiologically and psychologically [2,3]. Author et al. have been involved in the activities of art in hospitals, and developed art therapy from medical and social points of view [4,5]. Actually, some artworks of elderly patients using their fingers showed clinical effect [6]. In this article, some trends are introduced. Looking back on history, humans have evolved from mammals. Humans can think in words, communicate with others and use the hands to use fire and tools [7]. Art has born from the arm and the technique (art), and their paintings are left in some caves in the Europe. Art is essential, and artistic elements have conveyed information, increased strength and power, and reduced anxiety and fear. As to the arts, there have been paintings, music, and play and so on, which are born as the forms of expression. When everyone thinks, speaks, or writes, he works to connect every word, thought, image, or topic in his minds. This leads to artistic activities in literature, play, painting, sculpture and music [8]. What kind of experience brings a person in the art therapy? Humans are just observers. On the other hand, due to the value of artistic creativity, humans witness a wonderful inner journey to artists and art works. This experience can allow people to heal the wounds on the body and soul. Thus, art therapy has great power in maintaining and improving physical and mental health [8].

Since the era of Aristotle (???????????) in Greek period, philosophers and artists have rated poetry and theater as necessary items to purify the soul and maintain good health [9]. In fact, they have been used as art therapy to heal illnesses physically and psychologically and provided rehabilitation for all people of ages. For many years, the influence of art on human daily life has been studied from the perspective of architecture in hospitals, medical centers, and nursing care homes. Among them, there were some concerns that many people can feel in hospital art (art in hospitals) [10]. They felt rather coarse and cold-lived impression for the rigorously crafted stones from an architectural point of view. Furthermore, various environmental stressors were present in the patient’s surroundings where receiving the treatment. Art therapy has been one of the therapeutic methods which were used for long since ancient era. It can help actual treatment in various ways. Firstly, aesthetic existence and quality of several artistic works can improve human mood as well as self-consciousness, self-esteem, and happiness [11]. Secondly, physiological medical factors such as blood pressure, breath and heartbeat are stabilized, when human are concentrated in their enjoyable artistic activities. In recent decades, hospital and medical facilities have changed their functionalism to make healing space and environment with the concept of art in hospitals. Such air and room may create a meaningful positive efficacy for treatment physiologically and psychologically [12]. According to previous reports, hospitals and medical facilities can be modified to create a more comfortable and beautiful environment. This will reduce patient stress and increase patient satisfaction by improving the quality of various treatment [13]. Since ancient times, human beings have body and spirit. These two factors are not separate, and they interact with each other physically and mentally. In the medical treatment, however, medicine (usually oral so far) has been given as another axis by considering our body and spirit separately [14]. When one feels sick, one will be given a certain medicine that follows the standard guideline. This would be a one-dimensional influence. Since each individual's reaction is different to each treatment process, this situation would be a two-dimensional influence. For these one- and two-dimensional concepts, every hospital and medical facilities are made up of interconnected units which combines both of physiological and mental problems. Along with the elevated relevance of the matter, the shape, construction and accessibility of these buildings became the important issues of these medical centers. Consequently, medical staffs can provide almost ideal therapeutic procedure by conducting various patients with a quick, simple and meaningful manner.

Hospitals and medical facilities have been crucial units giving patients and family adequate health services. They have a variety of professionals such as physicians, surgeons, nurses, pharmacists, practical nurses, and so on for cure and care. Various categorized treatments are continuing under one roof of such buildings [13]. As hospitals and medical facilities have important role for protecting and improving the health of people, architectural design of them would be required to be paying attention. It is more in focus than before whether interior architecture is adequate from functional, physical and psychological points of view. Compared to healthy people, patients feel and assess architectural components in different way. Then, the architects have to pay attention to the needs of the patients in the light of physical and mental condition academically and carefully [15]. Consequently, several factors including effective visual shape, color, light and extensions would be estimated scientifically based on actual use. Their selections would be also based on evidences of influences of physical and mental health of patients and actual procedure of medical personnel. Along to this treatment path, the role of hospital art would be prominent from the quality of some spaces including entrance, waiting room, patient’ room and lounge [15].

As mentioned above, various performance of art in hospitals have been attracted attention. Authors have achieved seasoning artworks on the wall of the hospitals including the efficacy of wayfinding [16]. The characteristic point was that the production method was not used by oil-/water-painting but by masking tape [5]. It is easy to correct and revise, then everyone can attend the artwork pleasantly including university student, hospital staffs and volunteers. Furthermore, rehabilitation method using masking tape brought elderly people improving their physiological and psychological abilities [6]. We expect the development of art in hospitals as well as the clinical improvement of Quality of life (QOL) / Activities Daily Living (ADL) of patients in the future.


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