RSPH SIG Research Corner October 2018

This is the first of the Royal Society for Public Health's Research Corner series for the Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance.

Each month the Arts in Health Special Interest Group at the RSPH will curate a short collection of recent peer-reviewed papers that may be useful for practitioners and researchers working in this area. In each case a short summary will be followed by a link to the full paper for those interested in reading further. Where possible we will try to link to open-source papers that anyone can read, without needing university access.

These updates, curated by the Royal Society for Public Health's special interest group for arts and health, will be migrated to an archive on the Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance website once it launches in February 2019. We are grateful to London Arts in Health Forum for hosting this Research Corner in the interim!

Museums can help protect against dementia
Visiting museums and galleries has been found to reduce the risk of developing dementia on older age, even when accounting for how healthy and wealthy people already are.

Music listening supports mental health in care homes
Listening to preferred music for 30 minutes a day over three weeks can reduce anxiety and depression in elderly care home residents, with more frequent listening to associated with greater benefits.

Dance can help neurological conditions
Dance is already well researched in relation to Parkinson’s. A new systematic review has suggested benefits are also to be gained for balance, gait and mobility in other neurological conditions such as Huntington’s disease, stroke and MS.

Arts therapies can be effectively delivered via Telehealth
A study involving veterans for whom distance and disability can limit accessibility to rehabilitation and mental health services has found that video technology can effectively be used to deliver creative arts therapies

Cultural activities can help prevent chronic pain
Regular engagement with cultural activities including going to the theatre, concerts or museums is as protective as vigorous exercise against developing chronic pain in older age.