How hospital wall art can reduce patient stress, anxiety and pain

When we’re looking at the benefits of art in hospitals, the example of the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital can’t be beaten. This London-based 430-bed teaching hospital undertook a study that showed four out of five women having a cervical examination felt much less anxious and had a more enjoyable experience, while women in labour had, on average a two hour shorter labour in surroundings that contained artworks. 

The benefits of art in hospitals appear right across the board – in the paediatric emergency department, 16 out of 19 clinicians said that child patients had less anxiety when shown moving images of animals and 15 out of 19 also said that exposure to artwork decreased the pain levels of children. Even those receiving chemotherapy had lower cortisol levels when able to appreciate art in their hospital.

Hospital wall graphics and signage

Hospital wall art – how to help patients heal

Art lowers cortisol; the ‘stress hormone’. Cortisol can increase feelings of depression and anxiety, bring on headaches, cause digestion and sleep problems, interfere with memory and concentration and even lead to weight gain and heart disease, so anything that helps keep cortisol overload at bay can:

  • improve patient and employee stress
  • reduce post-operative recovery times
  • diminish pain perception 
  • cut the amount of medicine required, thus reducing costs
  • shorten the length of stay.

With this level of positive outcomes, many hospitals and other clinical environments are looking closely at how they can bring art into public spaces as well as ways of improving intimate environments like patient rooms and cubicles to make them more appealing and to offer a greater healing potential. And it’s not just leading UK hospitals who are reporting this level of a positive outcome from wall art. Two American hospitals discovered the having art in their Accident and Emergency spaces reduced stress and anxiety and increased socialisation between those who were visiting the hospital.

Hospital wall graphics and signage

Introducing art into your hospital

There are many ways to bring art into hospital environments for example:

  1. Wall art – murals and decals as well as window graphics, can all be used to reduce the institutional impression of clinical space and make it less threatening
  2. Hospital room signs – these are a great way to both personalise otherwise impersonal surroundings and can be a way to give patients a sense of ownership of their personal space
  3. Floor art – it’s important to remember that patients, clinicians and care staff aren’t the only people who can benefit from hospital art. Visitors also find hospital conditions stressful, and having easy ways to navigate the space, such as floor markings and colour-coordinated decor, can make the process of visiting a hospital so much easier and more enjoyable. 

Of course, art has to be appropriate to its location, and to the kind of people who might experience the space. Working with a wall art expert who can help you define what will work best in each environment, create art that fits your budget and reflects the local aesthetic, including local landmarks or specific cultural references that can help give patients a sense of ownership and confidence in a clinical setting. Our team is skilled in creating artwork to a brief, delivering stunning art at an affordable price, so why not contact us today to start the process that will deliver better outcomes for patients in your workplace?

How Inspired Visual can help…

Ready to boost your hospital appearance, environment and patient experience? Just contact us today to begin the process that leads to a revitalised hospital, via a great custom wall graphics brief. Our team of expert hospital graphic designers and installers can help you update your healthcare setting. We work with you every step of the way to ensure you are aware of all the options available to you and end up with a solution that is perfect for your needs. We have vast experience and understand the importance of healthcare graphics, please view our case studies for examples of our past work. Simply contact us or use the below form and one of the team will be in touch with you.