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Introduction. Art programs have been shown to positively affect unit culture, quality of care, and nursing practices. Art interventions improve well-being, reduce stress, and enhance nurse-patient communication. Art from the Heart (AFTH) is an art program that provides art supplies, visual art, and patient "About Me" pages to patients, families and employees at University of Vermont Medical Center (UVMMC).

Objective. Assess the efficacy of AFTH through nursing staff perceptions, understanding, and attitudes toward the program.

Methods. Structured interviews were conducted on Baird 4, an adult inpatient ward, at UVMMC. A 19-question survey using Likert scales and short answer formats was administered to nursing staff. Questions assessed perceptions of effects of art on patient anxiety and pain, communication, and job satisfaction. Surveys were analyzed to extract major and minor themes.

Results. Twenty-eight interviews were obtained and two major themes emerged: nurse satisfaction and patient well-being. Nursing staff satisfaction minor themes included improved productivity, promoting conversation, and creating a positive influence on the unit. Respondents reported that AFTH helped initiate conversations with patients (100% of respondents) and reduced workday stress (68%). The second major theme, patient well-being, included benefits to patients with dementia, providing comfort, and serving as an outlet or distraction. Utilizing AFTH improved perceived patient mood (100%), health (78.5%), and reduced patient anxiety (89.3%).

Conclusions. AFTH provides positive benefits by reducing nursing staff stress and perceived patient anxiety; improving communication, perceived patient mood and health; and creating a sense of community. AFTH should be expanded to the entire 6 Community Agency: Burlington City Arts, Art from the Heart


Rebecca Schwarz

Burlington City Arts: Art from the Heart

BF Dekmar

Burlington City Arts: Art from the Heart

Sarah McCarthy

The University of Vermont


Art from the Heart


Educational and Community-Based Programs, Social Determinants of Health

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Effects of Art from the Heart on Nurse Satisfaction and Patient Well-Being