Attitudes of Nursing Students and Nursing Professionals toward Art Therapy as an Intervention to Treat Patients with Alzheimer’s Disease

Current literature in psychology and allied disciplines suggests that art therapy may be effective for patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Previous research suggests that nurses believe art therapy to be effective; however, the current research study is the first to examine nurses’ attitudes towards art therapy with Alzheimer’s disease. My hypotheses are as follows: (1) Participants will display overall positive attitudes toward the use of certified art therapy; (2) Nursing students will believe art therapy to be a more effective treatment than practicing nurses; (3) Nursing students will be more supportive of a physician’s decision to recommend art therapy than practicing nurses; (4) Greater reported knowledge of art therapy will correlate with overall positive attitude toward art therapy; and (5) Greater reported experience with art therapy will correlate with overall positive attitude towards art therapy. Hypotheses were examined with respect to art therapy as a whole and art therapy with Alzheimer’s disease. Results suggest positive attitudes toward art therapy and no difference between nurses’ and nursing students’ attitudes. Results also suggest a significant relationship between both reported knowledge and experience with reported effectiveness of art therapy. Ideally, these results will lend support to future directions in art therapy research and implementation.