Placebo’s for art

The Art of Healing: the second phase of research on the influence of art on public health.

The Behring Institute has been collecting placebos for art. Long-term research on the influence of art on public health using the collected placebos will be carried out beginning in 2011.

Relationships between art and healthcare, as well as the influence and effects of art on health, have been studied frequently. The results of many studies indicate positive patients treatment outcomes and suggest that art can lead to a reduction in the amount of medication used by patients, shortening of patients’ hospital stays, improvement of working conditions, fostering of the doctor/patient relationship, and improvement of patient mental health. Moreover, a recent study carried out among 12,000 subjects in Great Britain shows that as people become increasingly involved with art, they appear to enjoy increasingly improved general health.

In order to do epistemological research on the phenomena made manifest by the various studies, the Behring Institute will launch a long-term worldwide study in 2011 on the effects of art on the health of individuals. Our current plan is for the second phase of our Call for Placebos for Art to continue under the name Art of Healing. During the coming years, we will continue our research via new research platforms and methods.

Midway through the course of this project, a special monitoring committee will examine the research for any significant discrepancies. In this type of research, the differences between the control group and the study group become visible only after post-study analysis. All participating patients must give their consent prior to participation; the study will comply with Dutch legislation for academic medical research on human beings and will be carried out according to the applicable international guidelines.

The Behring Institute has published the preliminary results of the Call for Placebos for Art in early 2011. This consists of a first attempt at grouping, categorizing, and defining the pieces, projects, paintings, pills, and installations.

Visit the website of the Behring Institute.