Creative Health: The Arts for Health and Wellbeing

Potentially the most comprehensive overview of the field to date, this report provides evidence demonstrating the impact of the arts on health and wellbeing throughout all stages of life. The evidence consists of an extensive literature review and stakeholder consultations, including 16 roundtable discussions with a total of 300 participants. The report includes ten recommendations, many of which involve greater collaboration between the National Health Service, government bodies, research councils, public health organizations, and medical schools.

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Creative and Cultural Activities and Wellbeing in Later Life

Age UK uses data from a national survey to construct an Index of Wellbeing in Later Life, and finds that out of the 40 factors assessed in contributing to wellbeing, creative and cultural participation was the single factor that contributed the most to wellbeing. The charity warns there are barriers preventing older people from doing the cultural activities they enjoy, and calls for increased accessibility for those aged 60 and over.

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Artful Living: Examining the Relationship between Artistic Practice and Subjective Wellbeing Across Three National Surveys

Examines the effects of amateur and professional artistic practice, using three American datasets. Concludes that there is strong support that artistic practice is associated with higher levels of life satisfaction, a more positive self image, less anxiety about change, a more tolerant and open approach to diverse others, and, in some cases, less focus on materialistic values and the acquisition of goods.

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‘Artlift’ arts-on-referral intervention in UK primary care: updated findings from an ongoing observational study

Updated findings are presented from a prospective longitudinal follow-up (observational) design study of an arts on referral programme in UK general practice, over a 7-year period (2009–2016). Examining data from 1297 patients, the study finds that a course of arts-on-prescription is effective in the promotion of overall wellbeing, including in those with very complex care needs.

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cARTrefu: Creating Artists in Residents

The aims of the cARTrefu project were to increase opportunities for residents and staff to participate in the arts and to develop and mentor artists to deliver sessions for older people in care settings. Finds that getting involved with arts projects can significantly increase wellbeing and sociability among residents at care homes.

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