Brief Reports

Evaluating the Benefits of Hospital Room Artwork for Patients Receiving Cancer Treatment: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Abstract

We examined whether placing a painting in the line of vision of a hospitalized patient improves patient outcomes and satisfaction and whether having patients choose their paintings offers greater benefit. From 2014 to 2016, we enrolled 186 inpatients with cancer diagnoses from Pennsylvania State University Cancer Institute and randomly assigned them to 3 groups: those who chose paintings displayed in rooms, those whose paintings were randomly selected, and those with no paintings. We assessed anxiety, mood, depression, quality of life, perceptions of hospital environment, sense of control and/or influence, self-reported pain, and length of stay and compared patients with paintings versus those without paintings, as well as those with an artwork choice versus those with no choice. There were no differences in psychological and/or clinical outcomes across the groups, but patients in the 2 groups with paintings reported significantly improved perceptions of the hospital environment. Integrating artwork into inpatient rooms may represent one means of improving perceptions of the institution.

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