Document Type

Senior Honors Project

Publication Date



Art is a growing complementary and alternative therapy used in health care to promote healing. The research on art-based interventions remains interspersed throughout the literature, making application of findings from studies to clinical practice challenging. In the research available, the nursing profession assumes a minor role, if at all, in the implementation of art as an intervention for healing. Nursing students in particular are in a prime position to employ art with their patients given the availability of time during clinical experiences. The minimal exposure to complementary and alternative therapies during nursing education increases the importance of promoting art-based interventions in nursing practice. The purposes of this project are two-fold. The first aim was to gather the benefits of art-based interventions from the literature through a systematic review that patients perceived and synthesize these benefits into categories. Through the systematic review, the author found eight studies that contained benefits synthesized into the following categories: empowerment, building support systems, distraction, and expression. Nursing implications from the findings are outlined in the paper. The second aim of this project is to increase the accessibility of the results for use in clinical practice. This goal to exposing nursing students to and help students incorporate art-based interventions was addressed through the development of a handbook included in the paper.