Arts and Health Scoping Research

Lead Research Organisation: University College London
Department Name: Genetics Evolution and Environment


The APPG Creative Health report published in 2017 provides the largest ever grouping of evidence demonstrating the value of arts engagement for health and wellbeing; the report argues that arts should be integrated into mainstream health and social care, and the increased interest in social prescribing offers an operational avenue to deliver this ambition. Critically further research is required to understand the value of arts engagement for different audiences and health conditions, including a better understanding of what works (best practice), how and why arts engagement is beneficial.

This proposal will scoping research to support a Strategic Priorities Fund application on: Arts, culture and health (to include arts-based social prescribing). Such scoping research is required to critically assess:
- Strengths and weaknesses of the current evidence base, with a focus on identifying gaps in the evidence base;
- Synergies and areas of uniqueness between 'arts and health' and 'social prescribing' research;
- Perceptions from key academics, practitioners and practice-based researchers on research priorities in the fields of arts and health and social prescribing (*see consultee list below);
- Exploration of feasible translation mechanisms for disbursing a large strategic grant including;
- A SWOT analysis of a large grant scheme being administered and disbursed via the proposed National Strategic Centre for Arts, Health and Wellbeing, as compared to a UKRI-led model.

Planned Impact

This proposal will conduct scoping research which will feed into the development of a draft Strategic Priorities Fund (SPF) bid. The scoping process will provide impact by engaging the various stakeholders (academics, arts practitioners, arts organisations, policymakers, parliamentarians, funders) in discussions regarding the impact and value of arts and health, and more broadly social prescribing.
The AHRC will benefit from having a draft SPF bid which is underpinned by robust scoping research. If successful the academic and arts practitioner communities will benefit from having more research funding available.


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