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Åpen tilgang
(side 4-8)
av Wenche Torrissen & Anita Jensen
Research article
Åpen tilgang
Vitenskapelig publikasjon
(side 9-20)
av Norma Daykin

Purpose: Despite a growing evidence base and increasing recognition of the connections between arts, health and wellbeing, arts and creativity are some distance from being fully integrated into health and care services. Further, there is a lack of consensus about the best way to develop the evidence base and progress the field. This paper draws on social movement theory and the related field of boundary studies to explore these critical challenges.

Design: The paper critically examines the developing international field of arts, health and wellbeing, drawing on a literature from several disciplines including arts and health, social and political sciences, and organisational studies.

Findings: While it is important to continue to develop evidence, theories and frameworks are also needed to address strategic questions, such as the relationship between evidence, policy and practice, as well as practical issues of propagation and scale in arts, health and wellbeing.

Research limitations: This is a discursive paper. It does not suggest definitive answers; rather, it signals new directions for further empirical research, including studies of social movement theory and boundary work in arts health and wellbeing.

Originality/value: A focus on methodology within an evidence-based medicine paradigm has meant that key questions concerning the development and impact of arts projects and programmes in health and wellbeing have been neglected. Social movement theory and boundary studies offer insights into the potential role of arts in reducing divisions, fostering collaboration and contributing to the transformation of health and care policy and practice.

Åpen tilgang
Vitenskapelig publikasjon
(side 21-34)
av Lars Ole Bonde
SammendragEngelsk sammendrag

Formålet med denne artikel er at give et overblik over sundhedsfremme gennem musikinterventioner og musikaktiviteter på danske / nordiske hospitaler inden for de sidste tyve år, samt at diskutere teoretiske rationaler for og praktiske problemer i forbindelse med disse relativt nye initiativer. Metoden er en blanding af heuristik og litteraturgennemgang. Forfatteren har været aktiv agent på dette område – som kliniker, forsker, supervisor og underviser – og har deltaget i udviklingen af det teoretiske begreb »sundhedsmusicering«, som er en fælles forståelsesramme for mange af agenterne på området. Resultaterne inkluderer en præsentation af det nuværende evidensgrundlag for musikinterventioner i nordiske hospitaler og en systematisk oversigt over agenter på området. Der er lovende forskningsresultater fra forskellige typer studier i de nordiske lande; den specifikke dokumentation er dog stadig begrænset. To forskellige tilgange til implementering af musikterapi / musikmedicin på hospitaler identificeres og diskuteres, og praktiske implikationer fremhæves i en række anbefalinger til områdets agenter. Essayets værdi består i, at der ikke findes nogen aktuel oversigt over feltet, og derfor udgør både fund og diskussioner et originalt forsknings- og erfaringsbaseret bidrag til udviklingen af sundhedsfremme via musik på hospitaler.

The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of health promotion through music activities and interventions in Danish/Nordic hospitals during the last twenty years, and to discuss theoretical rationales and practical problems related to these relatively new initiatives. The methodology is a mixture of heuristics and literature review. The author has been an active agent in this field – as clinician, researcher, supervisor and teacher – and has taken part in the development of the theoretical concept of »health musicking« which is a framework for many of the agents in the field. Findings include a presentation of the present evidence base for music interventions in Nordic hospitals and a systematic overview of agents in the field. There is a growing body of evidence from different types of research studies in the Nordic countries; however, the specific evidence is still limited. Two different approaches to the implementation of music therapy/music medicine in hospitals are identified and discussed, and practical implications are highlighted in a number of recommendations for agents in the field. The value of the essay is that no current overview of the field is available, and therefore both findings and discussions present an original research- and experience-based contribution to the development of health promotion through musicking in hospitals.

Åpen tilgang
Vitenskapelig publikasjon
(side 35-46)
av Töres Theorell, Jan Kowalski & Eva Bojner Horwitz

Background: Anecdote suggests that listening to music can help to distract from worries about ongoing life problems.

Purpose: In this study we examine the phenomenon and ask, to what extent does music listening alleviate worry, and under what circumstances? Our focus was on the immediate temporary effects.

Methodology: We performed four pilot experiments with audiences comprised of different ages and backgrounds of musical experience. As part of these experiments, we constructed a visual analogue scale (VAS) to assess “daily worry” together with the three other dimensions of tiredness-arousal, sadness-happy and anxiety-calmness. Participants were asked to listen to live classical music and to fill out the VAS before and after assessments. The experiments enabled us to examine the similarities and differences among audiences of different ages and music experience with regard to the capacity for music to distract them from their worries, what we term ‘worry distraction’.

Findings: In the different listening situations, the self-rating of daily worries decreases after listening to live, high-quality professional performances of classical music. In our experiments, previous experience of classical music does not have a significant effect on decreased worry while listening. University level education in general, however, is associated with an increased effect. This prompts a discussion regarding the role education plays as a determinant for health – including the relationship between experiences of music in relation to health.

Originality: It is striking that live classical music could affect daily worries of people across different age groups evaluated with our simple and easily distributed Visual Analogue Scale. This could therefore be recommended for evaluations in other contexts.

Åpen tilgang
Vitenskapelig publikasjon
(side 47-59)
av Collette Adams & Theodore Stickley

Background: Literature on the arts and their role in enabling recovery in individuals with mental health issues is fairly extensively researched and the valuable effectiveness documented. However, the influence of group arts activities and arts therapies and their role in enabling recovery of individuals who use substances is not widely researched, especially not outside of the arts therapies literature.

Objectives: This study reviews the academic literature relating to group arts activities and arts therapies and their role in enabling recovery of people who use substances.

Method: A rapid review methodology was used for the literature search using the PRISMA framework.

Findings: The discussion evaluates the evidence to support the use of group arts activities and arts therapies in the recovery of individuals who use substances. The majority of relevant literature relates to evaluation of arts therapies interventions. The effects of the use of music are most frequently reported within the relevant literature.

Conclusion: The article concludes that group arts activities and arts therapies have health and well-being benefits for individuals who use substances. The current evidence would benefit from further research in this area using larger sample sizes, with quantitative measures used, in addition to the qualitative methodology that has been used to date. Furthermore, follow-up studies are needed to assess whether the benefits are maintained.

Nordic Journal of Arts, Culture and Helath

1-2019, volume 1


Nordic Journal of Arts, Culture and Health is an open access journal established in 2019, with its first issue scheduled for November 2019. The journal provides a platform for publication and debate in the interdisciplinary field of arts and culture in healthcare and health promotion. The purpose of the journal is to contribute to dissemination of research, knowledge and practice experience in the arts, culture and health field.

The journal aims to

– Strengthen the arts and health field in the Nordic countries

– Contribute to the growing knowledge in the field from a Nordic point of view

– Document existing projects to make sure that valuable knowledge is maintained and shared

– Provide Nordic politicians and decision-makers with an evidence-base for policy-making

The journal defines ‘health’ broadly which includes physical, mental, emotional, cultural, existential, spiritual, occupational, social and community health.

The journal’s target audience is researchers and students in academic institutions, practitioners working with arts and culture in health and social care, education, government institutions, the media and other stakeholders from the broader public.

The journal publishes articles in Danish, English, Norwegian, and Swedish.

The journal is published by Scandinavian University Press (Universitetsforlaget AS) on behalf of National Center for Culture, Health and Care (Norway), Volda University College (Norway), Primary Healthcare, Region Skåne (Sweden), Aalborg University (Denmark), Royal College of Music (Sweden), Uniarts Helsinki’s CERADA Research Center (Finland) and Turku University of Applied Sciences (Finland).



Anita Jensen, Postdoc, Department of Communication and Psychology, Aalborg University, Denmark, and Primary Healthcare, Region Skåne, Sweden

Wenche Torrissen, Associate Professor, Drama and Theatre, Volda University College, and Norwegian Research Centre for Arts and Health


Associate editor

Liisa Laitinen, Project Planner, Arts Academy, Turku University of Applied Sciences


Editorial assistant

Gudrun Rossebø Kringlebotn

Design and typesetting: Type-it AS, Trondheim

Cover design: KORD AS / Scandinavian University Press, Sissel Tjernstad

ISSN online: 2535-7913

DOI: 10.18261/issn.2535-7913

© Scandinavian University Press 2019

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