Launch of first WHO report on the evidence base for arts and health interventions
Media release provided by the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe on 11 November 2019, Helsiiki, Finland. Additional information can be found on the WHO website.
The first-ever World Health Organization (WHO) report on the evidence base for arts and health interventions was launched in Helsinki, Finland on 11 November 2019. The Health Evidence Network (HEN) synthesis report titled What is the evidence on the role of the arts in improving health and well-being? maps the global academic literature in English and Russian. It references over 900 publications, including 200 reviews covering over 3000 further studies. As such, the report represents the most comprehensive evidence review of arts and health to date.
To watch the event as it was live streamed, follow the link at the bottom of this page.
Health Evidence Network synthesis report 67: What is the evidence on the role of the arts in improving health and well-being? A scoping review
Arts interventions, such as singing in a choir to improve chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, are considered non-invasive and low-risk options. Increasingly, Member States are using such interventions to supplement more traditional, biomedical treatments.
The evidence synthesized in the report will be used to provide suggestions for integrating the arts, social care and health sectors to support health and well-being throughout the life course and across the continuum of care.
WHO/Europe and European Member States recognize the importance of culture in shaping health and well-being throughout the life course. The cultural contexts of health and well-being (CCH) project was established as a cross-cutting initiative within WHO that takes a systematic approach to understanding how culture affects perceptions, access to and experiences of health and well-being.
By supplementing quantitative data with qualitative research from the social sciences and broader health humanities, the CCH project can enhance our understanding of people’s needs, values, perceptions and experiences of the world around them in order to improve the health and well-being of all. The HEN report on arts and health was developed as part of this work. For more information about the CCH project, follow the link below.
The launch event is organized in collaboration with Taikusydän Arts & Health Coordination Centre, Turku University of Applied Sciences, Arts Promotion Centre Finland, ArtsEqual, University of the Arts Helsinki, KULTA Central Organization for Finnish Culture and Arts Associations, the Ministry of Education and Culture of Finland, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health of Finland, and the Wellcome Trust.