Arts and vulnerable people: examining the evidence base

Lemos and Crane
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This paper reviews the research evidence on the impact of arts therapy for vulnerable people. Participation in arts projects is linked to positive outcomes, such as symptomatic relief, raised self-esteem, and building social capital. The paper outlines the four principal forms of formal arts therapy, which are: art therapy, music therapy, drama therapy and dance movement therapy. It explains the rationale behind arts therapy and other arts initiatives, and how they may be beneficial to vulnerable people, including: individuals with mental illnesses; prisoners; Individuals receiving palliative care; older people; and homeless people. The paper concludes that while there is a need for more large-scale studies that differentiate between various types of therapy, the inherent value of producing and being involved in art should play a role when thinking about the added value of arts therapy. (Edited publisher abstract)

Subject terms:
art therapy, literature reviews, older people, drama therapy, music therapy, dance therapy, mental health problems, palliative care, homeless people, prisoners;
Content type:
research review
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