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Mapping art and cultural initiatives at the hospitals in the Central Jutland region

Art and culture as a valve

New anthropological mapping of art and culture initiatives in hospitals indicates that these contribute to physical and mental well-being among patients, relatives and staff.

”You’re allowed to think about something else [than disease], it’s good!”- this is what it sounds like from one of the patients who participated in a qualitative interview in connection with the mapping of various art and culture initiatives at hospitals in the Central Region. The results of the mapping are described in the report: Reflection space- impressions and expressions, which Moesgaard’s Anthropological Research and Analysis Unit (MANTRA) has prepared for Regional Development in the Central Jutland Region.

“Art and cultural initiatives in hospitals are not a new phenomenon- and that they have a health-promoting effect is also documented in many international scientific studies”, says anthropologist Ph.D. Johanne Korsdal Sørensen, who prepared the report together with Johanne Hauge Westerlund.

”Cultural experiences can contribute to solving some of the hospital’s core tasks in connection with rehabilitation and treatment in completely new ways. However, there is a big difference in how the cultural experience is in the respective departments and units. With our report, we have tried to give an overview of art and cultural activities in hospitals in Region Midt”, explains Johanne Korsdal Sørensen.

According to the report’s authors, international research in the field is growing rapidly and documents, among other things, that people who participate in art, culture and creative activities can achieve increased self-confidence and well-being, improved social relationships, increased motivation and less depression as well as greater relaxation and more hope. Just as they can experience physiological effects such as reduced blood pressure, reduced levels of stress hormones in the body and strengthened immune system. So, the health-promoting effect is well-documented, and with the mapping analysis from MANTRA, there is new inspiration for health professionals.