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The Arts and the Social Determinants of Health: Findings from an Inquiry Conducted by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
JournalArts & Health: An International Journal for Research, Policy and Practice
Early online date24 Jan 2019
Accepted/In press31 Dec 2018
E-pub ahead of print24 Jan 2019

King's Authors

Abstract

Background
The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing was formed in 2014 and, the following year, initiated an Inquiry into the relationship between arts engagement, health and wellbeing. This led to a substantial report being launched in Parliament in July 2017.

Methods
The Inquiry comprised 16 round-table discussions, a series of expert meetings and a lengthy period of desk-based research. The latter applied a realist method in seeking to reconcile policy, practice and evidence. Consideration of the social determinants of health formed the theoretical framework for the research.

Results
Evidence was found of a beneficial relationship throughout life between arts engagement, health and wellbeing. Arts engagement influences perinatal mental health and child cognitive development; shapes educational and employment opportunities and compensates for work-related stress; builds individual resilience and enhances communities.

Conclusions
The arts can help to mitigate the social determinants of health. Further research is needed in this area.

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