Landscape paintings reduce anxiety and need for medication
Placing pictures of natural landscapes in mental health settings can reduce anxiety levels among service users and, subsequently, their need for medication, according to US researchers.
Art was displayed on a rotation basis on the walls of an acute care psychiatric unit.
Results showed drugs dispensed by nurses for anxiety and agitation was significantly lower on days when a realistic nature image of a landscape was displayed, as compared to days when abstract art or no art was displayed.
The authors said: “The study concluded that positive distractions, like visual art depicting restorative nature scenes, could help to reduce mental health patients’ anxiety and agitation in healthcare settings.”
- Nanda U, et al. Effect of visual art on patient anxiety and agitation in a mental health facility and implications for the business case. Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing (2011) 18: 386-393