Impact of Arts in Health Programsby Bivi Franco on 09/14/16
Arts in health programs are not a fad, nor are they alternative treatments meant to replace any aspect of a physician’s treatment plan. Arts in health programs, like those facilitated by Feel Beautiful Today and our 15 beneficiaries-in-kind hospitals and cancer centers, are designed to complement the medical community’s efforts to foster a positive healing environment for cancer patients and survivors. The impact of arts in health programs is evident through the transformation in each patient’s attitude as they participate in the creative arts programs which reduces the anxiety associated with the fear of the outcome of their disease. Participation in these arts for health programs benefit the patients; it is more about the process and the love that surrounds each patient than the resulting product.
In the article, “Arts for Health: Still Searching for the Holy Grail,” authors Hamilton, Hinks and Petticrew assert that “the arts have been seen as a tool for improving public health, reducing health inequalities, and promoting social inclusion, but the evidence remains elusive” (402). In the brief article, the authors discuss how scientific studies of arts in health programs may not be entirely necessary and to instead look at the outcomes - social and health implications. The way that arts in health programs are reviewed and studied is evolving. Hospitals and cancer centers must evaluate on some level to determine how such programs can benefit their patients as well as the costs and staffing involved. The conversation will soon shift from “are these types of programs even necessary” to “what do we need to do get these programs at our hospital?” In order for the reach of these programs to increase, there must be evidence to support the introduction of these services (402). Evidence such as patient testimonials and outcomes as well as how medical staff, specifically physicians, feel about the programs. Arts in health programs work in conjunction with treatment plan and there needs to be a team approach for whole wellness.
Through continued outreach, Feel Beautiful Today hopes to continue to promote the importance of arts in health programs and the need for creating a positive and supportive environment for cancer patients.
Reference: Hamilton, C, S Hinks, and M Petticrew. “Arts for Health: Still Searching for the Holy Grail.” Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 57.6 (2003): 401–402. PMC. Web. 31 Aug. 2016.