Details on article
|Author||Jensen, A.; Bonde, L.O.|
|Title||The use of arts interventions for mental health and wellbeing in health settings|
Jensen A, Bonde LO. (2018) The use of arts interventions for mental health and wellbeing in health settings, Perspect Public Health, 138 (4), 209-214
|Keywords||arts activities; clinical interventions; health; wellbeing; mental health; arts participation; arts on prescription
|Link to article|| https://doi.org/10.1177/1757913918772602
|Abstract||Aims: This literature review aims to illustrate the variety and multitude of studies showing that participation in arts activities and clinical arts interventions can be beneficial for citizens with mental and physical health problems. The article is focused on mental health benefits because this is an emerging field in the Nordic countries where evidence is demanded from national health agencies that face an increasing number of citizens with poor mental health and a need for non-medical interventions and programmes. Methods: A total of 20 articles of interest were drawn from a wider literature review. Studies were identified through the search engines: Cochrane Library, Primo, Ebscohost, ProQuest, Web of Science, CINAHL, PsycINFO, PubMed and Design and Applied Arts Index. Search words included the following: arts engagement + health/hospital/recovery, arts + hospital/evidence/wellbeing, evidence-based health practice, participatory arts for wellbeing, health + poetry/literature/dance/singing/music/community arts, arts health cost-effectiveness and creative art or creative activity + health/hospital/recovery/mental health. The inclusion criteria for studies were (1) peer review and (2) empirical data. Results: The studies document that participation in activities in a spectrum from clinical arts interventions to non-clinical participatory arts programmes is beneficial and an effective way of using engagement in the arts to promote holistic approaches with health benefits. Engagement in specially designed arts activities or arts therapies can reduce physical symptoms and improve mental health issues. Conclusion: Based on the growing evidence of the arts as a tool for enhancing mental health wellbeing, and in line with the global challenges in health, we suggest that participatory arts activities and clinical arts interventions are made more widely available in health and social settings. It is well-documented that such activities can be used as non-medical interventions to promote public health and wellbeing.
|Metodology||For the literature search, the following databases were used: Cochrane Library, Primo, Ebscohost, ProQuest, Web of Science, CINAHL, PsycINFO, PubMed and Design and Applied Arts Index. The most significant search words used were as follows: arts engagement + health/hospital/recovery, arts + hospital/evidence/wellbeing, evidence-based health practice, participatory arts for wellbeing, health + poetry/literature/dance/singing/music/community arts, arts health cost-effectiveness and creative art or creative activity + health/hospital/recovery/mental health. The search identified 1679 articles. After detailed examination of the articles, the total was reduced to 177 articles that also included a small number of hand-picked articles. The inclusion criteria were peer-reviewed articles reporting from studies with empirical data. A total of 20 articles with focus on mental health benefits from the review were selected for this article.
|Findings||1) Arts therapy and participatory arts interventions have both positive and reliable psychological effects for patients within a range of diagnosed illnesses. The actual benefits have been documented as better mental health on different levels. Some of the effects were reported as follows: improved ability to cope, less negative feeling, increased quality of life, increased wellbeing, reduction in anxiety, better understanding of own body, reduced agitation, positive distractions, increased social interaction, reduced stress, increased self-confidence and sense of self-worth, lower levels of depression, increased sense of hope and increased ability to connect with valuable parts of oneself 2) There is good and variable documentation and evidence showing that non-clinical engagement in arts, culture and creative activities can increase mental health wellbeing of individuals who are experiencing mental health problems.The effects are reported as subjective feelings of increased self-confidence and wellbeing, being part of a community, building new social relationships, participating in meaningful activities, creating a connection between body and mind, promoting relaxation, fostering a sense of hope and developing new coping mechanisms and experiencing increased sense of self-worth, motivation and aspiration and decreased levels of depression. 3) There is an increased focus on the health and wellbeing of employees, especially in workplaces involving caring for other people or providing medical treatment. There are promising results of embedding cultural activities in the working environment, but studies are too heterogeneous to establish focused evidence of either (1) mental health benefits for staff members or (2) communication between staff and patients. 4) So, the selected studies document that engagement and participation in the arts – in a spectrum from clinical art therapy interventions to non-clinical, specially designed arts activities – can be effective ways of using non-medical interventions to promote holistic approaches with mental health benefits.
|Search Database||Researcher Knowledge