Patient creations throughout our campus illustrate
the healing benefits of art


It’s widely believed that art can aid in healing and improve quality of life. But where does this thought come from, and how exactly can exercising your creative side help you recover from illness? compiled a list of possible benefits of art in a health care setting with scientific evidence, proving once and for all that art should be an integral part of medical care. 

How can patients benefit from art?

1. Building relationships with caretakers. 

When patients are guided through an art activity by a member of hospital staff, they can share their story through a vulnerable medium. Both patient and caretaker can grow closer, bolstering trust and understanding.

2. Aiding in relaxation and its many benefits. 

Illness can be mentally and emotional taxing. Art offers a way for patients to recharge without checking out, which can aid in the prevention of depression and lessen anxiety about the future. 

3. Assisting in pain management. 

Recent studies have proven that when applied correctly and regularly, artistic activities can relieve pain without medication, especially when that pain is a product of a recent surgery. In a survey given to participating Swedish Hospital patients, caretakers discovered that patients on average reported decreased pain and increased calm after an art session. 

4. Allowing patients to express themselves. 

Art can help a patient organize their concerns, making what can be an overwhelming experience more manageable.  

Art at Swedish Hospital 

Swedish Hospital supports the use of the arts in patient treatment. The hospital’s Artist in Residence program provides the opportunity for patients to express themselves through the therapeutic power of the creative process, encouraging individuals to be active in their healing process by serving as a way to visualize emotions and experiences. 

The Artist in Residence program offers patient-centered, collaborative art in an intentional hospital methodology. The program’s projects are created in collaboration between patients and staff, even between two or more different departments, and can lead to furthering the healing experience through expressive art.

In addition to being a useful treatment tool to the patient who participates in the activity, many projects are displayed around campus to inspire other patients to get well and brighten the mood of what can be an uncertain setting. The five featured areas below contain art created in collaboration between patients and various departments in the hospital. 


By David Modica | Published April 07, 2016
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