Arts for Health and Wellbeing: An Evaluation Framework was commissioned by Public Health England to create a standard way to demonstrate the importance of music, dance, theatre, visual arts and writing alongside other health and social care services.
The new document is to be used by health and social care professionals across the UK to report their arts activities, with the aim to strengthen understanding of what activities work for different people so that investment can be made in similar programmes in the future.
“It is now widely accepted that the arts have a positive role in the support and rehabilitation of people in need of care, but until now there has been no single way to collect evidence about its impact,” explained Professor Daykin. “Public Health England approached me because of my well known research on arts, health and wellbeing – in particular the knowledge exchange projects undertaken with practitioners, policy makers and commissioners to strengthen evaluation practice in the field.
“The framework is intended to guide arts organisations, practitioners and commissioners through the evaluation process. It offers a standard framework to help understand the health and wellbeing outcomes and impacts of arts. However, it does not assume that ‘one size fits all’ – rather it encompasses a wide range of methodologies and approaches.”
The framework draws on Professor Daykin’s work as part of the University of Winchester’s Centre for Arts as Wellbeing – a specialist grouping of academics developing research, knowledge exchange and best practice across a wide range of art forms in health and social care settings. Professor Daykin has more than 20 years’ experience in researching and evaluating health and wellbeing practices. Her work has included exploring the role of music, visual arts and literary arts on communities and the care of people with health conditions including cancer, mental illness and dementia.
Arts for Health and Wellbeing: An Evaluation Framework was launched at a national health conference in London last month, and is available online at www.gov.uk/government/publications/arts-for-health-and-wellbeing-an-evaluation-framework