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Measuring health outcomes of engagement in the arts: the Arts Health Strategy for the Australia Council.

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Presentation on theme: "Measuring health outcomes of engagement in the arts: the Arts Health Strategy for the Australia Council."— Presentation transcript:

1 Measuring health outcomes of engagement in the arts: the Arts Health Strategy for the Australia Council

2 Introduction Purpose of Arts in Health Strategy Evidence (examples) to highlight the proven role of arts in delivering positive outcomes in health care; Build awareness of the benefits of arts on health, within arts organisations and medical/healthcare/community service providers; Provide access to practical information and advice on this topic, and on services available across Australia (including indigenous health); Promote research into the area, and encourage the evaluation of arts activities in health care settings; Identify new opportunities for artists and arts organisations to work in health care; Promote Australian arts in health practice internationally.

3 Existing research and literature A review of literature (peer reviewed, commissioned reports, policy documents in health and arts in Australia and internationally) revealed: although many studies lack strong designs there is support for the contribution of the arts to health; the importance of more research and evaluation in the arts and health field for providing evidence for beneficial impact; a role for the arts in community health and social inclusion exists beyond the medical model; expansion of research of the arts and health has potential to confirm the importance and centrality of the arts experience for the individual and the community.

4 Method gain a better understanding of the scope of current arts and health projects; identify opportunities for the development of interrelationships between arts and health; identify perceptions from the arts and health sectors regarding the role of the Australia Council in enabling this.

5 Instruments public submissions via online survey; in-depth telephone interviews (practitioners, policy makers, artists and other key stakeholders in the arts and health domains, as well as members of the broader (national) community); and mapping of arts projects funded by Australia Council between 2002-2005.

6 Sector of respondents Interviews n=15; Public submissions n=64

7 Populations targeted Interviews n=15; Public submissions n=142 (projects)

8 Types of arts programs Programs aimed at improving health and wellbeing by addressing: – Participation/inclusion – Health promotion – Ambience/atmosphere to promote well being – Distraction/diversion – Therapy

9 Health goals Australia Council n=158; Interviews n=15; Public submissions n=142 (projects)

10 Interview findings What worked Collaboration/ partnerships Success has been dependent on capacity to evolve through changing partnerships, participants and workers Involvement of health professionals Involving doctors in the development and delivery of programs like this is key in ensuring success both in terms of content and participation

11 Inclusion/ involvement of all key players Planning (incl. long term) A contained period for the project allowed good evaluation and repetition of refined program. Inclusion of longer term plan in initial proposal would allow development of program Involvement of professional artists/ skilled people Critical to have well chosen experienced professional artists

12 What didnt work Lack of recognition (both across sectors and society broadly) Lack of understanding of the role of arts in health Funding funding bodies want to see continuity before funding or offer amounts that are not worth applying for lack of funding to sustain the administrative support needed to attract funding

13 Suggestions for improvement Education/ information dissemination (through papers, forums and the media broadly) Health partnerships There is a stated interest within health practitioner community to see such partnerships formed Training/support Research/ evaluation

14 Strategy Options Three main strategy options which could be adopted by Australia Council: 1. Supporting and maintaining the status quo 2. Promote the arts in the life of people with health and social disadvantagedeveloping art in new contexts to improve wellbeing 3. Explore a fully fledged push into therapeutic models of arts in healthcare settings

15 Where to next The arts and health strategy seeks to incorporate the arts into health and wellbeing programs, whilst supporting and assisting arts practitioners to work for health outcomes.

16 Mission Incorporation of arts into health and wellbeing programs Support and assistance for arts practitioners to work for health outcomes

17 Programs Developing partnerships for providing resources and developing the evidence base regarding the role of the arts in health Advocating for arts professionals working in health and wellbeing, based on the outcomes of demonstration projects Training and building capacity for health professionals in arts and health.

18 Questions and comments

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