Academic journal article Perspectives in Public Health

Book Review: Arts, Health and Wellbeing: A Theoretical Inquiry for Practice

Academic journal article Perspectives in Public Health

Book Review: Arts, Health and Wellbeing: A Theoretical Inquiry for Practice

Article excerpt

The book editors have brought together prominent authors who set out to explore and agree on some ‘big questions’ in the field, as well as to advance and deepen theoretical, conceptual and methodological research on the processes and practices of arts, health and wellbeing. This book is a very timely and significant complement to the recent report ‘Creative Health’ from the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Arts, Health and Wellbeing in 2017.

A broad range of academic disciplines are reflected within, as well as direct examples from the practice of participatory arts and art therapy. It well organised with earlier chapters focusing on critical questions, such as the links between arts and health to broader concerns of cultural citizenship and social justice. The middle section weaves together examples of both participatory arts and arts therapy and the ways in which researchers have captured their impact in areas such as dementia, mental health and chronic pain. Later chapters explore current policy and the economic case for supporting the arts more widely in health practices.

Cross-cutting theoretical and methodological debates underpin the book. Prominent is the call for research to transcend instrumental models of research that focus solely on outcome measures and attend to the process and less tangible aspects of art forms. …

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