Purpose: For years, the Arts and Health (AaH) movement has been guided by values of art for art’s sake, practitioner as Artist and artist as Outsider. These values are instrumental to the effectiveness of AaH as a relational and process-driven tool for individual empowerment, collective health activism and social change. This paper explores how the AaH movement, together with the artists operating as AaH practitioners, has responded to the political and economic and policy transitions of recent years.
Methodology: This paper critically analyses and updates the frequently-cited Diamond model of Smith (2003) and Macnaughton, White and Stacy (2005) exploring how and why, within a UK context of neoliberalism, austerity and evidence-based practice, AaH is being increasingly drawn into the methods and governance of medical and rehabilitative services.
Findings: Whenever AaH in the UK is governed by health services, it becomes reconceptualised as therapy or treatment. It risks relinquishing its artistic and philosophical identity and distinctive effectiveness.
Originality: This paper builds upon the Diamond model to present two new models, the Stalactite and the Helictite. These new models conceptualise the current situation and the potential future fragmentation of the AaH movement, highlighting how AaH might remain faithful to its core values.
Purpose: The transition from the labor market to retirement is a critical phase of life. Men, especially, are at risk of negative health effects. Shared Reading may be a promising way to engage older men in health promoting interventions. However, no previous studies have investigated its effects on this group. This study aims to investigate the feasibility of a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of a Shared Reading intervention. This article presents the design of the study.
Methodology: The study will be carried out using an exploratory mixed-methods design, investigating collective dimensions of Shared Reading and participants’ experiences and identifying and pilot-testing effect measures in a before-and-after design. Five Shared Reading groups will be carried out and evaluated, with a total of 50 participants.
Findings: The results of the feasibility study will inform a large scale RCT of a Shared Reading intervention for retired men measuring health, social and literary effects and will provide analytical groundwork for an investigation of participants’ experience of reading literary texts.
Originality/Value: The study is the first investigation of the effects of Shared Reading on newly retired men. It invites methodological transparency and reflection on the design, implementation and evaluation of arts and health interventions.
Målet med studien: å undersøke hvordan en pilegrimstur påvirker deltakernes subjektive livskvalitet og hvilke faktorer som muligens kan identifiseres som støttende for den enkelte deltakers subjektive livskvalitet.
Design: I prosjektet “Kunsten å gå”, ble elleve deltakere (alder 38–70) fra en organisert mestringsgruppe fulgt opp før og etter deres 6–16 dager lange pilegrimsvandring i Spania. Tiltaket ble tilbudt som et helsefremmende initiativ. Pre- og postmålinger av subjektiv livskvalitet (SWLS; tilfredshet med livet, WEMWBS; mental wellbeing og PG; personlig vekst) alle med tre repeterte målinger (før, like etter tur og 14 dager etter tur), ble etterfulgt av individuelle intervju.
Funn: Pilegrimsturen hadde stor innflytelse på deltakernes subjektive livskvalitet, men turen hadde ulik betydning for deltakerne, målt med tre ulike tilnærminger. Effektstørrelsene viste endringer med middels og liten effekt. Åtte ulike temaer knyttet til gjennomføringen av pilegrimsturen ble funnet på tvers av materialet, og ble identifisert som psykologisk støttende: livsmestring, fellesskap, selvaksept, fysiske utfordringer, sanseopplevelser, opplevelse av mening, glede og latter samt lekenhet.
Praktiske implikasjoner: Studien gir støtte for at langdistansevandring, slik som pilegrimsvandring, har betydelig helsefremmende potensiale, gitt at rammene er velorganiserte og at deltakeren har mulighet til å realisere noen av de identifiserte støttende faktorene.
Verdi: Denne enkeltstudien gir systematisk kunnskap om hvordan de støttende faktorene påvirker forståelsen av pilegrimsvandring som et helsefremmende tiltak.
Purpose: The aim of the study is to examine how pilgrimage can affect the participants’ subjective wellbeing, and what possible factors that might be identified as psychologically supportive of the participants’ subjective wellbeing.
Design: In the project “The art of walking”, eleven volunteer participants (age 38–70) from an organized support group were followed before and after their 6–16-day pilgrimage in Spain, offered as a health-promoting initiative. Pre and post measures of wellbeing (SWLS; satisfaction with life, WEMWBS; mental wellbeing, PG; personal growth), all with three repeated measures (before, after and after 14 days) were followed up by individual interviews.
Findings: The pilgrimage had a great impact on the participants’ wellbeing, measured on different dimensions. Effect sizes demonstrated change with medium and small effects. Eight different themes related to experiences from the completion of the pilgrimage were identified as psychologically supportive: Life skills, community, self-acceptance, physical challenges, sensory experiences, experiences of meaning, joy and laughter, and playfulness.
Practical implication: The study provides support for the idea that long-distance walking, such as pilgrimage, has a health-promoting potential, given well-organized initiatives and the realization of several psychological supportive properties.
Value: This single case study adds systematic knowledge about supporting factors in relation to pilgrimage as a health promoting initiative.
Nordic Journal of Arts, Culture and Health
2-2020, volume 2
Nordic Journal of Arts, Culture and Health is an open access journal established in 2019, with its first issue published in 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 and globally
– Contribute to the growing knowledge in the field from Nordic and international points 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 Norwegian Resource Centre for Arts and Health (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, PhD, Primary Healthcare, Region Skåne, Sweden and Guest Researcher, Department of Communication and Psychology, Aalborg University, Denmark.
Wenche Torrissen, Professor, Drama and Theatre, Volda University College, and Norwegian Resource Centre for Arts and Health
Liisa Laitinen, Adviser, Arts & Health, Arts Academy, Turku University of Applied Sciences
Design and typesetting: Type-it AS, Trondheim
Cover design: KORD AS / Scandinavian University Press, Sissel Tjernstad
ISSN online: 2535-7913
© Scandinavian University Press 2020