The present study aimed at determining whether short-term exposure to art in shared common areas in congregate housing units could affect health and health determinants among the residents. Ten residents (mean age 80.4 years) at one block were exposed to visual art environmental enrichment in common areas over a period of three months. Thirteen persons (mean age 86.6 years) living in another block played in-house boule. Cornell’s test, Mini-Mental tests (MMT), and face recognition test were performed to assess depression, cognition, and episodic memory, respectively before and after the intervention. The results show that visual art environmental enrichment in common areas and lack of stimulating and guiding dialogues show a change in depression scores in the intervention group (p = 0.018) and the control group (p = 0.009). MMT scores improved only in the control group (p = 0.003). No changes in episodic memory in any of the groups were observed. It could be concluded that in order to obtain a positive result of short term visual art environmental enrichment, guiding art dialogues conducted by nurses, as described in previous research, should be added to visual art environmental enrichment in healthcare settings.
Cite this paper
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