The aim of this scoping review is to synthesise existing evidence on the positive effect of arts and cultural activities on health and well-being. This means the review is not limited to a few research questions but seeks to provide a clear indication of the volume of existing literature, the key concepts, focus points and the types of studies that exist. It also identifies knowledge gaps in the existing literature. Finally, it gathers policy recommendations and identifies challenges, further expanding the scope of the report beyond the proposed policy directions and specific policy measures.
As our society faces severe challenges such as a mental health crisis exacerbated by the pandemic, an ageing population, growing inequalities, forceful displacement of people due to war and political conflict, and dynamic changes to work and the economy, new solutions and approaches are needed. The findings of this scoping review and its recommendations throw light on the pathways through which culture and the arts can support individuals and communities in adequately addressing these global challenges, thus identifying further avenues for future research and action.
Presented on the 16th of November at the EU Commission’s seminar, “Culture: a driver for health and wellbeing in the EU,” the “CultureForHealth Report. Culture’s contribution to health and well-being. A report on evidence and policy recommendations for Europe” adds to the growing awareness in the European Union (EU) of the critical role of culture and the arts in improving health and well-being at both the individual and collective level.