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Medicine Matters Home Article of the Week Window Treatment—Bringing Art and Joy to Hospital Rooms

Window Treatment—Bringing Art and Joy to Hospital Rooms

ARTICLE: Window Treatment—Bringing Art and Joy to Hospital Rooms

AUTHORS: David Shih Wu, Candice D. Harding, Felicia M. Lombard

JOURNAL: JAMA. 2024 Jan 25. doi: 10.1001/jama.2023.28102. Online ahead of print.


Most hospital rooms in the US are not conducive to the wellness of either patients or staff. We've found that allowing patients, clinicians, and hospital staff to draw on patient room windows with washable markers brings joy, relieves pain, and creates meaningful connections between patients and staff. The window art becomes a conversation piece, a way for staff members who walk into the room to connect with patients—and themselves—on a different level. The drawings prompted stories by all involved about childhood, career choices, and life events. Staff learned new things about each other and about patients. The ongoing conversations created a sense of community that transcend usual boundaries. Placing erasable markers in each hospital room with a window is a simple, inexpensive, and easily scalable intervention that puts creative power in the hands of patients, families, and health care staff, with benefits of analgesia, improved emotional well-being, and community-building.

For the full article, click here.

For a link to the abstract, click here.


Kelsey Bennett