Evidence Summary for Policy: The role of arts in improving health & wellbeing

Author(s):*Listed Alphabetically
Aughterson H, Fancourt D, Warran K

Year of Publication:

Department for Digital Culture Media & Sport

Publication Type:


This evidence summary was commissioned by Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) in response to the World Health Organisation report published in November 2019 entitled “What is the evidence on the role of the arts in improving health and wellbeing?”

Building on the findings from the WHO report, this review has three aims:
• To review the evidence on how arts engagement can impact on the following three DCMS policy-relevant outcomes: (i) social outcomes, (ii) youth development, and (iii) the prevention of mental and physical illness.
• To review the evidence on how social prescribing programmes that have used arts interventions can impact on the three outcomes above, again reviewing the types of studies and quality of the evidence base.
• To provide a series of recommendations for how DCMS might invest in future research or academic collaboration to build the evidence base on interventions impacting on these three outcomes.

Evidence Type: Policy Document

Main Focus: Wellbeing / Quality of life

Research Purpose: Discussion / Debate

Context: Community

Art Forms: Multi-Arts

Access Type: Free Download

APA Citation:

Fancourt D., Warran K., Aughterson H. (2020.) Evidence Summary for Policy: The role of arts in improving health & wellbeing. London: Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport