Therapeutic Art Gallery - Acute Stroke Unit RVH

13/06/2016

The Therapeutic Art Gallery has been officially launched in the Acute Stroke Unit, Wards 6EF, Royal Victoria Hospital.

The gallery has been designed for the use of patients, families and staff of the Stroke Unit and integrates the use of a tablet device to enhance the experience for those using the gallery. The art work on display is all by local artists and draws on a town and country theme, featuring familiar Northern Irish scenes, nature and wildlife. The gallery also features three works created by patients in the Unit. Click here to see a list of works and artists.

Treatment Approach

Stroke patients frequently have difficulty navigating through environments (both familiar and unfamiliar to them), reading, visual scanning skills, concentration, memory and sequencing of processes/activities. One treatment approach when working with patients to reduce the impact of these problems is that the Occupational Therapists will take patients for a walk, on or off the ward, in order to teach and encourage new or compensatory strategies. Stroke patients frequently have difficulty navigating through environments (both familiar and unfamiliar to them), reading, visual scanning skills, concentration, memory and sequencing of processes/activities.

The artwork is another treatment option for our stroke patients. We will be using electronic devices (tablets) to provide the patients with either written instructions, picture descriptions or auditory descriptions to navigate their way to the artwork. Once the artwork has been located there will be a number of questions to answer and an explanation on the piece of artwork. There is also an audio-visual tour option available, similar to those found in museums and art galleries. We hope that this will allow us to deliver our treatment in a richer, more stimulating way.

Research is emerging about the important role the physical environment can play in supporting service delivery and patient/relative experience. Evidence shows that visual exposure to nature improves outcomes in stress and pain and can serve as a positive distraction. Environments which are aesthetically pleasing and informative have been shown to relieve stress in patients, staff and the general public.

Multidisciplinary Team

The project has a truly multidisciplinary approach, being led by Emma Dunn, Clinical Specialist Occupational Therapist working in partnership with Beverley Healy Arts Care Project Artist, consultant Enda Kerr and the staff team in the Stroke Unit, Communications, IT and Arts in Health.

This project was supported by the Arts in Health Awards Programme and the RVH Arts and Environment Group.
For further information contact: Emma Dunn, Occupational Therapist or Paula McHugh, Arts in Health Manager.