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Artlift Evaluations

Art-Lift: A Partnership Arts and Health Project
Norma Daykin Stuart McClean Paul Pilkington

Main Messages

The Art-Lift project evaluation highlights :

  • The positive contribution that art and artists can make to healthcaresettings, enhancing healing environments and contributing to cultural change.
  • The challenges of researching arts and health in real world settings. It also highlights the value of a mixed methods approach, allowing triangulation of results from different aspects and reinforcing the reliability of the results.
  • Participation in projects like the Art-Lift project may help to reduce anxiety and depression in some patients. Further research is needed on clinical outcomes associated with arts projects.
  • Further research is needed on the impact of participation in projects such as Art-Lift on consultations for medically unexplained conditions. GPs taking part in the study observed a reduction in these and noted changes in patients with these particular conditions. 
  • Arts interventions do not necessarily aim to produce clinical effects. The findings also point to broader impacts of arts activity identified by patients, health professionals and artists, such as supporting patients who are coping with chronic illness and with difficult circumstances such as bereavement. Arts can also provide a resource for health professionals who are challenged to offer suitable responses to problems that are not directly medical. 
  • The unique benefits offered by ‘safe’ health care settings, particularly GP practices, as a focus of arts activity for patients with these particular needs. 
  • Key issues in relation to the training and supervision of artists in healthcare, who need to be adaptable, able to respond flexibly to a number of challenges including organisational systems, interprofessional working and evidence based healthcare. 
  • Additional demands are made on project staff when research and evaluation processes are integrated into project delivery. While formal evaluation is needed in order to build the evidence base for arts and health care, this needs to be adequately resourced, well supported and effectively managed.

Download full evaluation



Articles relating to Artlift can also be acessed in the journals listed below.

Crone D M, O’Connell E.E., Tyson P J, Clark-Stone F, Opher S. and James D V B 2012, ‘It helps me make sense of the world’: the role of an art intervention for promoting health and wellbeing in primary care perspectives of patients, health professionals and artists. Journal of Public Health, 20 (5): 519-524.

Crone D M, O’Connell E E, Tyson P J, Clark-Stone F, Opher S and James D V B 2012 ‘Art Lift’ intervention to improve mental well-being: An observational study from UK general practice International Journal of Mental Health, Nursing, 22, 279-86



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