In 2003, Dr Rosalia Staricoff published the first attempt in the UK to evaluate the contribution of visual and performing arts in hospital settings...

‘A Study of the Effects of Visual and Performing Arts in Healthcare for Chelsea and Westminster Hospital’ was a result of a three-year research project. The methodology used enabled Dr Staricoff to assess three separate groups – patients, staff and visitors – and to evaluate links between arts and health, including the role of the visual arts in the healing process.

The study found that incorporating visual art into the care environment was highly effective in diminishing levels of depression in Medical Day Unit patients. Art also significantly lowered levels of anxiety and depression for Day Surgery patients, when compared to those who were prepared for surgery in the absence of visual art.

Dr Staricoff also found that 96% of clinicians and 91% of nurses found the integration of visual arts contributed to a very positive working environment, with the potential to improve staff retention. 

The study found that the length of stay for patients on a trauma and orthopaedic ward was one day shorter when the patients experienced visual arts and music interventions.

Dr Staricoff concluded that art in healthcare facilities can reduce levels of patient anxiety and depression, boost staff morale, reduce patients' length of stay in hospital and even reduce use of painkilling medications.

Work with Paintings in Hospitals to introduce art into your healthcare or social care spaces...