Launch of world's largest study into impact of arts on health

King’s College London and UCL have launched the world’s largest ever study into the impact and scalability of arts interventions on physical and mental health. Inspired by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health & Wellbeing’s report Creative Health: The arts for health and wellbeing, the study will be supported by a £2m award from Wellcome Trust.

Interventions proven to improve patient health, such as singing groups for postnatal depression, dance classes for people with Parkinson’s and movement and music sessions for stroke patients will be trialled among larger groups of people within NHS hospitals and health centres. The programme will also have a stream of work specifically dedicated to examining how the art interventions can be implemented within the NHS

The study, Scaling-up Health-Arts Programmes: Implementation and Effectiveness Research (SHAPER), will be led by Professor Carmine Pariante, Professor of Biological Psychiatry at King’s College London and Dr Daisy Fancourt, Associate Professor of Psychobiology & Epidemiology at UCL, alongside a multidisciplinary team of artists, scientists and clinicians brought together by research manager, Dr Tony Woods, and arts advisor, Nikki Crane.

Professor Carmine Pariante says:

“There is growing research on the impact of the arts on health. But more work is needed to take programmes from successful local projects with short-term funding to national programmes commissioned by the health sector.”

Professor Sir Robert Lechler, Senior Vice President/Provost (Health) at King’s College London, says:

“We aim to provide the evidence needed for arts-based interventions to be embedded into NHS treatment pathways, offering effective alternatives to traditional therapies while delivering better results for patients and possible cost savings to the NHS.”

Further information can be found on the King’s Arts, Health & Wellbeing Hub