A new study presented at the Annual Spring Meeting on Cardiovascular Nursing, Copenhagen, Denmark, indicates that stroke survivors who appreciate music, painting, and theatre exhibit better recovery outcomes than those who do not. Researchers report during the study, 192 stroke survivors were asked whether they liked or disliked music, painting, and theatre. 

The results suggest that patients interested in art exhibited better general health, more energy, and a greater ease in walking than their peers who disliked art. Researchers add that the “art group” of patients were happier, less anxious, or depressed, and felt calmer. The “art group” of stroke survivors also reportedly had better memory and greater ability to speak with others, naming people and objects correctly, and to understand what was being said to them.

Ercole Vellone, RN, MSN, assistant professor in nursing science at the School of Nursing, University Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy, led the study. Vellone rearticulates the study’s findings, “In our study the ‘art’ group of patients showed a comparable clinical picture to the ‘no art’ group. This is important because it means that patients belonging to the ‘art’ group had a better quality of life independently from the gravity of stroke. The results suggest that art may make long term changes to the brain which help it recover when things go wrong,” Vellone says.

Vellone adds that introducing art into nursing care may help improve the recovery process after a stroke and may also improve quality of life for the patient.

Source: European Society of Cardiology