Studies have suggested and anecdotal accounts indicate that art may play a significant role in both psychological and physiological aspects of healing. Art can provide patients a soothing, comfortable environment or a stimulating, engaging experience.
In a recent survey of the literature regarding the arts in healthcare research, the National Endowment for the Arts concluded that medical literature shows little controlled research investigating the benefits of art in the healthcare environment. To date, there are no scientific studies testing the physiological impact of visual art experiences on the healing process. The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) has also pointed out that what information does exist traces back primarily to one researcher, Dr. Roger Ulrich.
The Albright-Knox Art Gallery partnered with the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer on a pioneering study that sought to fill this void in our understanding. Through the AK Innovation Lab and ATLAS Lab at Roswell, a collaborative team developed a randomized control trial to investigate the role that art may play in the recovery of cancer patients after surgery.
The research of Art Heals provides valuable insights into the healing process. This high-level scientific evidence has made a significant contribution to better understanding the role of art in the healing process and has provided a model for how hospitals and cultural institutions can collaborate to aid patients.