Literature review

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Patient satisfaction is critical in all health care facilities in ensuring delivery of high-quality care as well as in enhancing the healing process. The level of patient satisfaction and quality care in medical centers get influenced by various factors. The factors include the level of communication, staff competence, and satisfaction, patient’s expectations, treatment technique, accessibility and affordability of care, healthcare facilities, etc. (Goel, 2014). The environment and the approach of offering medical care have become an important aspect in the delivery of quality care and achieving patient satisfaction. The traditional model of healthcare focused only on the history of the disease, investigation into the physiological basis of symptoms, as well as remedies for reversing and treating symptoms, followed by measurement of outcomes. Today care gets provided in a holistic manner in which health and wellness of an individual entail been able to meet their psychological, spiritual, social and environmental needs. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as the physical, psychological, social, spiritual and environmental needs. The European Charter on Environment and Health states that a clean and harmonious environment, as well as physical, social, psychological and aesthetic factors, is significant in having good health. Therefore, new approaches and engagements in medical treatment and care are necessary for this holistic approach and perspective of healthcare so as to enhance full wellbeing and health. Various activities and techniques get used to addressing all the different patients’ needs in healthcare. Technological development in medical sector has led to the innovation of new treatment approaches as well as equipment that assist in treatment and diagnosis. Arts in healthcare treatment process assist patients in the expression of experiences that are difficult to put in words such the diagnosis of cancer.

The approach of treatment used by medical practitioners is crucial in the healing process. The use of artistic engagement as well as the primary therapies namely visual arts therapy, movement-based creative expression, music engagement and expressive writing has a significantly positive impact on patient’s health outcomes (Stuckey & Nobel, 2010). Art-based interventions are effective in reducing the adverse physiological and psychological outcomes in patients. The employment of creative activities in treatment has a significant impact toward reducing stress and depression as well as alleviating the burden caused by chronic illnesses. Music engagement in healthcare offers a variety of benefits that include easy accessibility as it does not require a physician visit or the presence of a medical practitioner and numerous health benefits. These health benefits include that it offers pleasure necessary in the restoration of emotional imbalance, calms the neural activity in the brain that results in reduced anxiety, assists in pain control through achieving auditory stimulation, promotes wellness and healthy aspects of patient’s lives, and assists in the reduction of psychological and physical symptoms. A therapist who uses music therapy acknowledge benefits such as the ability to articulate areas of the benefit of music therapy, and that music can fit within economic and bureaucratic structures.

Art therapy refers to a medical intervention based on the belief that making of art is a creative process that leads to healing and wellness of patients. It is a complementary therapy used in relieving cancer symptoms. Art therapy is easy to execute in the hospital setting. Specific health and wellness benefits of visual arts include reductions in stress and anxiety as well as the increase in positive emotions among cancer patients, distract illness thoughts and improved focus on positive life experiences, social identity and self-worth. For breast cancer patients, visual arts is critical in reducing the negative psychological effects such as depression, anxiety and adjustment disorders that may lead to the generation of feelings such as anger, guilt, fear, and also emotional expression. A study undertaken on the innovative use of art therapy showed that there is an efficacy of art therapy in reducing a broad spectrum of symptoms in a diverse sample of cancer inpatients (Nainis, Paice, Ratner, Wirth, Lai & Shott, 2006). The use movement based creative expression such as dance and other movements as psychotherapeutic or healing tools focus on the nonverbal, primarily physical, forms of expression. Movement-based creative expressions lead to positive health benefits such as improvements in physical symptoms and ambulation from tai chi as well as improvements in cognitive and psychological measures from theater training among elderly persons. Expression writing, storytelling and poetry reading as a psychotherapeutic or healing tool have various wellness and health benefits. They include that it leads to long-term improvement of mood and health, and also the ability to access unconscious self through writing causes improved relationships, assist in participant identification and work through feelings as well as is an informative tool.

Music has got proven scientifically to have effective healing powers, and therefore music therapy is not a recognized health profession to address emotional, cognitive, physical and social needs of patients. In the Middle East, the Abu Dhabi Festival (ADF) that is a hospital’s initiative to use music therapy aims at promoting the role played by music in healthcare. The organizers of this music festival that has collaborated and performed in various hospitals such as Tawam Hospital in Al Ain, the Imperial College London Diabetes Centre, RAK Hospital in Ras Al Khaimah, and haikh Khalifa Medical City in Abu Dhabi state that the event has led to numerous positive impacts (Radan, 2016). Humor is also another form of verbal therapeutic and medical intervention that leads to benefits similar or music therapy.

The integration of recreational activities such as playing board games, cards and bingo also get associated with enhanced wellness and health among patients. Therapeutic recreation activities offer befits such as assists in developing and re-establishing social skills in a controlled environment, assists in the reduction of anxiety and depression and also improves the quality of life through increased social interaction and sense of control (British Medical Association, 2011).

The physical environment in the medical facility also contributes to the treatment of a patient and has a significant impact on the particular health outcomes. Various architectural and environmental hospital designs get incorporated in the physical structure so as to lead to positive effects on patients’ health. They include proper lighting and exposure to daylight, reduced noise, single-sex accommodation, social interaction and proper ward layouts and wayfinding (British Medical Association, 2011).  When patients get exposed to daylight, there is a high possibility that there will experience reduced depression despite the type of illness. It is important that hospitals have reduced noise since high noise levels result in adverse consequences such as elevated blood pressure, increased heart and respiration rate, worsened sleep and decreased oxygen saturation thus worsening patient’s health. Proper design of wad layouts is crucial in enhancing patient health since problems associated with way-finding in medical facilities lead to decreased patient and staff satisfaction. Social interaction and single-sex accommodation are crucial in minimizing stress among patients as well as enhancing health outcomes.



British Medical Association. (2011): The psychological and social needs of patients. British Medical Association.

Goel, S. D. (2014): Textbook of Hospital Administration. Elsevier Health Sciences.

Nainis, N., Paice, J. A., Ratner, J., Wirth, J. H., Lai, J., & Shott, S. (2006): Relieving symptoms in cancer: innovative use of art therapy. Journal of pain and symptom management, 31(2), 162-169.

Radan S. (2016): Music programme to heal mind, body at UAE hospitals: Wknd:

Stuckey, H. L., & Nobel, J. (2010): The connection between art, healing, and public health: A review of current literature. American journal of public health, 100(2), 254-263.

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