Art as a tool in clinician education

Recent research in America has confirmed the value of arts instruction as a tool in medical education, specifically in nurse training.

Art may delay onset of dementia

New research indicates that people who participate in arts and craft activities in middle and old age may delay the development in very old age of the cognitive problems that often lead to dementia. Those engaged in the arts in middle age are up to 73% less likely to develop mild cognitive impairment than others.

New research into impact of loneliness

US researchers have urged public health bodies to take more notice of loneliness and social isolation arguing both are as damaging to good health as obesity or smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

The study, published in Perspectives of Psychological Science, links actual and perceived social isolation with increased risk for early mortality. It concluded overall, the influence of both objective and subjective social isolation on risk for mortality was comparable with well-established risk factors for mortality.

Value of social engagement

New research from University College London provides evidence of the link between social connections in later life and wellbeing. The research also notes that less than 10% of Health and Wellbeing Boards have actions to tackle loneliness in their public health plans.

The main findings of the research are:

Research into long-term benefits of arts

Arts for Health at Manchester Metropolitan University has published research that shows that engagement with arts and culture generally has a positive long-term effect on health and wellbeing.

The research undertaken by Dr Rebecca Gordon-Nesbitt has uncovered evidence, stretching back a number of decades, which shows a significant association between engaging with the arts and longer lives, better lived.

20% of care staff paid less than the minimum wage

A new study by independent think-tank the Resolution Foundation has revealed that 160,000 care workers are receiving less than the minimum wage – largely as a result of not being paid for travel between home-care visits.

Arts Council research programme

Arts Council England has launched a new Research Grants Programme, which aims to provide opportunities for the arts sector to engage in collaborative research to explore the impact that arts and culture can have on social outcomes.

The funding will support the arts and research sectors to examine measurable impacts of culture on the economy, health and wellbeing, society and education. Successful applicants will promote greater collaboration and co-operation between the arts and cultural sector and research partners.

Culture and happiness

Arts Council England has published a research study to assess the connection between arts engagement and people’s happiness. The research analyses data from Mappiness– an iPhone app that allows users to record their own wellbeing.

The report, by economists Daniel Fujiwara and George MacKerron, found that people recording their experience of arts and culture activities score highly in terms of both positive effects on happiness and relaxation, above leisure activities like watching TV or drinking alcohol.

What Works evidence

The Government has published evidence from its What Works Network to provide evidence for successful local and national policy making. It refers to the potential for cultural commissioning to impact on wellbeing.

Arts Council research programme

Arts Council England is planning the launch of a £3m research grants programme to build and improve the evidence base around the value, impacts and benefits of arts and culture. From next April, ACE will invite research proposals to develop the evidence base for the impact of arts and culture.


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