Yet another study has been published showing that hospital patients – this time children in pediatric settings – prefer nature artwork over other types (including abstract, impressionistic, and other representational).
One interesting concept brought up by the authors is offering an “art cart” to pediatric patients so that they can select the art images (most of which would be nature-based) that most appeal to them. Sound like it might be a good idea for all ages, right? Please link to the InformeDesign summary of this article for more information: “Nature Artwork Preferred by Children in Pediatric Settings.”
Previous research has looked at overall preferences and has also found that nature artwork tends to relieve rather than cause stress (yes, some types of artwork actually cause stress to people in the healthcare setting). See this excellent summary by Henry Domke for a crash course. Henry’s blog, Healthcare Fine Art, is a terrific resource if you’re interested in the intersection of art and healthcare. Henry is also a photographer, and it’s his images that you see on the TLN site and often on the TLN Blog, because in addition to being very talented, Henry is also very generous.
The Therapeutic Landscapes Network website has an Art and Health page where you’ll find the resources that we think are the top go-to organizations, books, and articles on this subject.
Full article citation: Eisen, Sarajane L., Roger S. Ulrich, Mardelle M. Shepley, James W. Varni (2008). “The Stress-Reducing Effects of Art in Pediatric Health Care: Art Preferences of Healthy Children and Hospitalized Children.” Journal of Child Health Care, Vol. 12, No. 3, pp. 173-190.