The Effectiveness of Visual Art on Environment in Nursing Home

By Chang, Chia-Hsiu; Lu, Ming-Shih et al. | Journal of Nursing Scholarship, June 2013 | Go to article overview

The Effectiveness of Visual Art on Environment in Nursing Home


Chang, Chia-Hsiu, Lu, Ming-Shih, Lin, Tsyr-En, Chen, Chung-Hey, Journal of Nursing Scholarship


Abstract

Purpose: This Taiwan study investigated the effect of a visual art-based friendly environment on nursing home residents' satisfaction with their living environment.

Design: A pre-experimental design was used. Thirty-three residents in a nursing home were recruited in a one-group pre- and post-test study.

Methods: The four-floor living environment was integrated using visual art, reminiscence, and gardening based on the local culture and history. Each floor was given a different theme, one that was familiar to most of the residents on the floor. The Satisfaction with Living Environment at Nursing Home Scale (SLE-NHS) was developed to measure outcomes.

Findings: Of the 33 participants recruited, 27 (81.8%) were women and 6 (18.2%) were men. Their mean age was 79.24 ± 7.40 years, and 48.5% were severely dependent in activities of daily living. The SLE-NHS showed adequate reliability and validity. Its three domains were generated and defined using factor analysis. After the visual art-based intervention, the score on the "recalling old memories" subscale was significantly higher (t = -13.32, p < .001). However, there were no significant score changes on the "convenience" and "pretty and pleasurable" subscales. In general, the participants were satisfied with the redesigned environment and felt happy in the sunny rooms.

Conclusions: Visual art in a nursing home is a novel method for representing the local culture and stressing the spiritual value of the elderly residents who helped create it. Older adults' aesthetic activities through visual art, including reminiscence and local culture, may enrich their spirits in later life.

Clinical Relevance: Older adults' aesthetic activities through visual art have been shown to improve their satisfaction with their living environment. The SLE-NHS is a useful tool for evaluating their satisfaction.

Key words

Visual art, reminiscence, local culture, nursing home, living environment

A nursing home is a semi-closed system and a group residential setting. The majority of residents are limited in their ability to carry out their activities of daily living (ADLs) and interact with the community (Fuh, Lu, & Chang, 2007). In Taiwan, most nursing homes are affiliated with hospitals, and nursing home designs are similar to hospital wards, with their uniform rooms and routinized living schedules.

Visual art is important for creating a hospitable and friendly environment for older nursing home residents. Everyday life and culture in almost all communities are replete with visual images (Mizsoeff, 2002), and natural scenes and graphic pictures of visual art are often recognized as aesthetically pleasurable and acceptable (Redies, Hasenstein, & Denzler, 2007). Viewing visual art also often generates creative responses and a new appreciation of cultural history. Because local art can evoke human memories of the distant past and emotional experiences, local visual art can be used to teach and learn about the local culture, including its perceived, skilled, and emotional aspects (Mizsoeff, 2002). Thus, visual art has been widely used when treating schizophrenia (Chen, Norton, fr McBain, 2008), Alzheimer's, dementia (Rankin et al., 2007), and older people in general (Wikström, 2000a, 2000b, 2002a, 2002b).

Reminiscence is a natural process of thinking or telling about past experience or recalling a long-forgotten experience or fact (Merriam- Webster, 201 1). Life-review activity is a developed method of reminiscence. Reminiscence, either in individual or in group sessions, is effective for resolving conflicts and developing strategies for coping with and accepting various changes as people get older (Chiang et al., 2010), especially for the elderly with dementia and depression (Conn & Seitz, 2010; Phillips, Reid- Arndt, & Pak, 2010; Westphal, Dingjan, fr Attoe, 2010). Older adults often use reminiscence to find meaning in their day-to-day activities (MacKinlay & Trevitt, 2007). …

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