Art therapists can engage medical inpatients in the creation of art to encourage emotional and physical healing. Utilizing a chart review, the impact of art therapy sessions at the bedside with patients (N = 195) in a large urban teaching hospital was reviewed. The sample was predominantly female (n = 166) as more women than men agreed to participate in an art therapy session. As a routine part of regular clinical practice patients were asked to rate their perception of mood, anxiety, and pain using a 5-pointfaces scale before and after an art therapy session conducted by a registered art therapist. Multiple diagnoses were included in this chart review, making this study more representative of the variety of medical issues leading to hospitalization. Analysis of pre and post results demonstrated significant improvements in pain, mood, and anxiety levels of arttherapy sessions for all patients regardless of gender, age, or diagnosis (all p < 0.001).
ence. Whether hospitalized for trauma, sudden illness, planned surgical intervention, or as a readmission for a chronic condition, a patient may experience a myriad of emotions, including but not limited to fear, worry, confusion, and mood disruption (Bar-Sela, Atid, Danos, Gabay, & Epelbaum, 2007; Tully et al., 2011). Comorbid issues of depression and anxiety are a common experience for medically ill hospitalized patients (Gaus, Kiep, Holtkamp, Burkert, & Kendel, 2015; Glinzak, 2016; Maujean, Pepping, & Kendall, 2014; Pederson, Majumdar, Forhan, Johnson, & McAlister, 2016; Sokoreli et al., 2016). Feelings of stress can exacerbate and be exacerbated by issues of pain as well (Angheluta & Lee, 2011). Although the management of pain is a priority, it can be a difficult task that is further complicated by the highly subjective nature of pain. Poorly managed pain not only increases physical stress and compromises healing, but can lead to loss of hope, feelings of helplessness, and a lessening sense of control and personal efficacy (Eytan & Elkis-Abuhoff, 2013). Pederson et al. (2016) noted that poorly managed or unacknowledged symptoms of depression and anxiety may negatively impact 30 day readmission rates. Additionally, hospital length of stay is often increased when psychosocial needs are not met (Carter et al., 2016). Perhaps most importantly, unmanaged psychosocial stress levels can negatively impact prognosis and survival rates, especially amongst those with a diagnosis of cancer or cardiac disease (Bar-Sela et al., 2007; Ramos, Prata, Bettencourt, Gonc¸ alves, & Coelho, 2016; Sokoreli et al., 2016; Tully et al., 2011). This is unfortunate and very likely unnecessary, since studies have demonstrated that experiences of anxiety and depression can be predicted for most patients, and therefore could be addressed during hospitalization (Basak et al., 2015).