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Arts and Music in Healthcare

9th November 2017 @ 14:00-16:00


For our fourth seminar in our seminar series at the WHO Collaborative Centre on Culture and Health, we are delighted to have Dr Daisy Fancourt, University College London; Professor Alastair MacDonald, The Glasgow School Art; Ms Ruth Cohen, Project Manager at Daisi.

Daisi – Ms Ruth Cohen

Ruth will be talking about a project she manages at Daisi; a not-for-profit arts education organisation creating and promoting inspiring artistic and cultural experiences which enable more children and young people to access the transformative and inclusive power of the arts.  Daisi believes that such experiences should sit at the very heart of young people’s lives and learning; sparking their imaginations, supporting their well-being and self-esteem, and helping them to observe and explore the world around them.  Children and young people can experience challenges in their lives through their immediate social, economic or geographic environment, physical or learning disabilities or other factors. Art and music can be a vital ingredient in bringing about personal and social change for these children.

Daisi’s Soundwaves project (started 2012) focuses enabling young people to gain confidence, self expression, communication skills and self-efficacy through engagement in music activities. Evaluation of the project has shown significant improvements in well-being for individual young people through taking part in a range of musical activities, including songwriting, playing with others and performing.

ArtEffect began in 2016 and is a collaboration between schools, teachers, young people, and professional artists.  It is exploring how this collaboration can create artistic opportunities in school, and in non formal education settings, that support the wellbeing of young people who have identified themselves as experiencing mental health issues. ArtEffect is developing the case for the positive contribution that the creative arts workshop can bring to supporting the emotional, psychological and social wellbeing needs of children and young people in Devon.

Prof Alastair Macdonald, Senior Researcher in the School of Design at the Glasgow School of Art will ask ‘Who’s the real expert? Public participation in healthcare innovation and improvement through design and visualisation’.

How, and to what extent can the public and patients be involved in the processes for improving their healthcare services and experiences? To what extent can design approaches enable and empower individuals to do so? Further questions arise, such as ‘should we only involve those who are able enough to be involved, could and should we better enable those who are at the limits of their capabilities, what do we mean by able enough, and who and what do we mean by ‘the expert’?

After introducing the topics of participatory co-design, public and patient involvement (PPI), and visualisation, Alastair will explore these questions through a set of short illustrated healthcare-related case studies in food management and nutrition monitoring for the elderly, healthcare associated infections, and physical rehabilitation following stroke. In each, different kinds of information or data – usually only accessible to the academic or clinician – was ‘made visible’ as a means of better involving key stakeholders, including the public and patients as well as interdisciplinary teams, in the co-development of improved healthcare services and experiences.

Alastair is a product designer by training and was a head of department for the inter-disciplinary Product Design Engineering programme at The Glasgow School of Art (GSA). He is now a full time researcher at GSA, working exclusively in design-led healthcare-related research funded by RCUK and NIHR grants. Further details of his research and publications can be found at: web: http://bit.ly/profalastairmacdonald radar: http://radar.gsa.ac.uk/view/creators/197.html

Dr Daisy Fancourt, will be asking “Do the arts support our health? Results from basic, applied and population science studies”

We’re all aware of the effects of smoking, lack of exercise and poor diet on our health: healthy lifestyles are at the top of public health agendas. But are the arts an overlooked ‘health behaviour’ or ‘social determinant of health’? Research suggests that people who engage in the arts are less likely to die prematurely and more likely to report better health. Cultural engagement is even linked in with savings for the health sector through reducing health service utilisation and medication usage. But how and why does this happen and what is the implication for both the arts sector and the health sector?

This talk will present cutting-edge research showing the impact of arts and cultural engagement on health in the UK. Drawing on data from basic, applied and population science studies, it will explore some of the psychological, biological, social and behavioural mechanisms by which the arts affect us, provide case studies of targeted evidence-based arts programmes for specific health conditions, and consider how ‘arts on prescription’ programmes can support public health in the UK. It will conclude with a discussion of how political activity is paving the way for closer engagement between the arts, health and social care sectors.

Dr Daisy Fancourt is a Wellcome Research Fellow in the Department of Behavioural Science and Health at University College London. Her research focuses on the effects of arts participation on neuroendocrine and immune response, the use of the arts within clinical settings, and the impact of cultural engagement at a population level. Daisy is a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health and the Deputy Chair of their Special Interest Group on Arts and Health. She also established and chairs the International Arts Health Early Career Research Network. Daisy is a BBC New Generation Thinker and a World Economic Forum Global Shaper and has received awards from the British Science Association, British Academy, British Federation of Women Graduates, American Psychosomatic Society, Royal Society for Public Health and NHS England.

We welcome academics, researchers, public health policymakers and practitioner, as well as any interested members of the public.

There will be light refreshments available at this event.

If you can not attend, but are interested, please do register for our webinar at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1053062045704480002

For further queries, please contact Kerry Dungay, Project Manager for the WHO Collaboraition Centre at: k.dungay@exeter.ac.uk




9th November 2017


University of Exeter
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University of Exeter, Forum, Exploration Lab 2
Stocker Road
EXETER, Devon Ex4 4PT United Kingdom
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