“Sometimes superheroes reside in the hearts of small children fighting big illnesses.”
Art can be a powerful healer. You can see it on the faces of kids Project Imagine touches.
Project Imagine, based in Las Vegas, is Cure 4 The Kids Foundation’s Arts in Medicine Program (AIM). The organization brings one-on-one and group music, art, theater and photography enrichment sessions to the bedsides of hospitalized children. The kids are encouraged to use their imagination to create what will become their legacy of creativity, insight and vision.
AIM, complementary to the care hospital staff provides, is scientifically proven to help children who are undergoing extensive treatments.
Benefits of AIM
• Reduces anxiety and suffering
• Reduction in perceived pain levels
• Lowers blood pressure
• Decreases feelings of isolation within the hospital setting
• Improves mood
• Distracts from medical problems
• Faster recoveries
• Promotes healing
AIM can drastically affect medical outcomes. Research shows that opportunities for creative self-expression fortify a patient’s ability to cope with illness and treatment.
Engagement in arts can help reduce pain medication usage and average length of stay. It can also increase compliance with required treatments. Arts programming offers children an enhanced sense of control, elevated self-awareness, diminished psychological and physical symptoms and positive social experiences. Ultimately, it reduces the cost of health care.
The program also has positive effects for parents, caregivers and medical staff. Nurses, for example, report higher levels of job stress, physical labor, long shifts and excessive workloads. This allows them less time to tend to the emotional needs of their patients, leading to distress and compassion fatigue. Arts in Medicine programs help to lessen those feelings.