The Society for the Arts in Health Care, in its most recent State of the Field report, published in 2009, cited data showing that up to 45 percent of the country’s health care institutions use art in their programs. These included displays of art, bedside workshops and performances.

Researchers have found that such programs decrease patient stress and improve quality of life; and there is a nascent body of evidence suggesting that, because of such improvements, arts programs can actually save on health-care costs.