Launch of first WHO report on the evidence base for arts and health interventions

11 November 2019, Helsinki, Finland

The first-ever WHO report on the evidence base for arts and health interventions will be launched in Helsinki, Finland. The Health Evidence Network (HEN) synthesis report maps the global academic literature in English and Russian. It references over 900 publications, including 200 reviews covering over 3000 further studies. As such, the report represents the most comprehensive evidence review of arts and health to date.

About the launch event

The launch will take place at the Terrace Foyer of the Helsinki Music Centre on Monday, 11 November 2019 at 08:00–11:00 CET. Participation at the event is by invitation only.

The launch will also be streamed live via the WHO/Europe website. A link will be available closer to the day of the event. More information about the programme will follow in due course.

Press and media inquiries

Journalists and broadcasters can access the HEN report and accompanying media materials, under strict publication embargo, ahead of the official launch. To obtain these and to bid for interviews with the report authors, please contact Ms Andrea Scheel (scheela@who.int).

Background

Arts interventions, such as singing in a choir to improve chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, are considered non-invasive and low-risk options. Increasingly, Member States are using such interventions to supplement more traditional, biomedical treatments.

The evidence synthesized in the report will be used to provide suggestions for integrating the arts, social care and health sectors to support health and well-being throughout the life course and across the continuum of care.

WHO/Europe and European Member States recognize the importance of culture in shaping health and well-being throughout the life course. The cultural contexts of health and well-being (CCH) project was established as a cross-cutting initiative within WHO that takes a systematic approach to understanding how culture affects perceptions, access to and experiences of health and well-being.

By supplementing quantitative data with qualitative research from the social sciences and broader health humanities, the CCH project can enhance our understanding of people’s needs, values, perceptions and experiences of the world around them in order to improve the health and well-being of all. The HEN report on arts and health was developed as part of this work. For more information about the CCH project, follow the link below.

The launch event is organized in collaboration with Taikusydän Arts & Health Coordination Centre, Turku University of Applied Sciences, Arts Promotion Centre Finland, ArtsEqual, University of the Arts Helsinki, KULTA Central Organization for Finnish Culture and Arts Associations, the Ministry of Education and Culture of Finland, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health of Finland, and the Wellcome Trust.