Arts in Medicine
About Arts in Medicine
The UAB Institute for Arts in Medicine (AIM) encourages healing through the arts. The first of its kind in Alabama, AIM provides engaging arts opportunities to patients, caregivers, and even clinical staff to enhance their physical environment through creative bedside interaction, art exhibits, and performances in common spaces.
Services are provided by professional artists in residence, all of whom are trained in creative activities for the health care setting. They use visual art, crafts, storytelling, dance and movement, guided meditation, theatre, and creative writing to deliver the proven benefits of Arts in Medicine, which include reduced stress levels, greater pain tolerance, improved moods, and faster recovery rates.
The program is a partnership between UAB Medicine and UAB Visual and Performing Arts and underscores UAB’s commitment to patient-centered care. Piloted in 2013, AIM maintains a rotating schedule for a growing number of UAB Medicine units.
Patients or families of those undergoing treatment in units not included in the current rotating schedule may request an arts in medicine referral by a member of their care team. A referral can be made for an activity with an artist in residence or simply a delivery of requested art supplies. AIM Programs are available to patients and families of all ages and ability levels through referral only at this time; the goal is to respond within 24 hours.
About half of American hospitals have some form of arts programming. Most take the form of art or music therapy, where trained professionals work with patients to achieve specific therapeutic goals. (UAB Hospital has had a music therapy program for about 15 years.) But a growing number of medical centers—UAB Hospital is the first in Alabama—also are implementing the more comprehensive AIM model.