Health and wellbeing impacts of arts and culture

This section contains research looking into the ways in which cultural engagement benefits people's physical health and psychological wellbeing. There is a relatively strong evidence base for the therapeutic benefits of cultural engagement, whether that takes place within a clinical setting, or more generally in one's daily life. The studies translated here describe experiments within hospitals and other clinical settings, as well as research looking at population-wide data sets.

You can find out more about this area of research from places such as the Sidney DeHaan Research Centre for Music Arts and Health, the Arts Health and Wellbeing Research Programme, and the National Alliance for Arts Health and Wellbeing.

The summaries in this category are:

Personal writing can be healing for people with mental health conditions

This research was conducted by Kristine Lynn Haertl and Adrienne Maiers Ero-Phillips at St. Catherine University and Abbott Northwestern Hospital, USA

Summary

This study set out to explore the healing properties of “personal writing” (i.e. that which does not take place in a formal or structured setting). Specifically, it looked …

How art-making aids recovery from mental health challenges

This research was conducted by Karen Gallant and four others at Dalhousie University and the University of Manitoba, Canada

Summary

This paper addressed the question of how art-making and exhibiting impacts recovery from mental health conditions. It asked artists themselves to reflect on their experiences. The study found that the arts …

The effect of music and movement on mother-infant interactions

This research was conducted by Wendy Vlismas, Stephen Malloch and Denis Burnham at the University of Western Sydney, Australia.

Summary:

In this work, a group of researchers investigated the effects of music and movement (M&M) on the interactions between first time mothers and their 2–6-month-old infants. They also evaluated the …

The effects of music listening at different life stages

This research was conducted by Jenny M. Groarke and Michael J. Hogan at the National University of Ireland, Galway.

Summary

This study sought to determine how mood enhancement and other positive effects of music listening interact to support wellbeing, and how these factors differed between younger and older people. Mood regulation …

Dance can improve quality of life for those with Parkinson’s Disease

This research was conducted by Alice Davies and Ian Patrick Noonan at King’s College London.

Summary

Parkinson’s Disease frequently impacts the balance and gait of sufferers and participation in dance programmes has been shown to generate improvements in patients. This article consolidates the existing literature on the topic. It …

Understanding the relationship between happiness and arts attendance

This research was conducted by Chris Hand at Kingston University.

Summary

This research took data from two years of the Taking Part survey (2012-2013) and compared people’s happiness levels with their arts attendance. The research was therefore based on a data set of more than 7,000 people. Overall there …

Using the arts to enhance communication in dementia care

This research was conducted by Gill Windle and six others at Bangor University and four other institutions.

Summary

This paper examined the results of four sessions of ‘Creative Conversations’: an arts-based intervention for care staff development. The 'Conversations' improved staff skills and confidence, enabling meaningful interactions that were ‘creative, ‘in the …

Help prevent depression in old age by staying culturally active

This research was conducted by Daisy Fancourt and Urszula Tymoszuk at University College London.

Summary

This paper explored whether cultural attendance by older adults is associated with a reduced risk of developing depression. The paper considered attendance to comprise visits to the theatre, concerts or opera, the cinema and art galleries …

The benefits of arts programmes for older people in acute healthcare settings

This research was conducted by Karen Ford and three others at the University of Tasmania and Inscape Tasmania, Australia

Summary

This paper is an account of an arts in health programme at an acute older persons’ unit in a general hospital in Tasmania. There is a well-established body of work that …

A ballet-based dance intervention for people with Parkinson’s

This research was conducted by Ashley McGill, Sara Houston and Raymond Y.W. Lee at the University of Roehampton and the University of Portsmouth.

Summary

Parkinson’s disease is characterised by loss of balance and stability, which can have a two-way detrimental impact on an individual’s quality of life by …

By | 21 August 2018 |