It helps me make sense of the world: The role of an art intervention for promoting health and wellbeing in primary care-perspectives of patients, health professionals and artists

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • D. M. Crone
  • P. J. Tyson
  • F. Clark-Stone
  • S. Opher
  • D. V B James

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • May Lane Surgery


Background Art interventions are increasingly used in public health for the enhancement of patients' health and wellbeing. The present study investigated perceived outcomes and role of an art intervention from the collective perspectives of participants (patients who took part), deliverers (artists) and referrers (general practitioners and practice nurses). Methods A qualitative methodology, using interviews and focus groups, allowed investigation of participants (n018) perceived outcomes and role of the intervention. Participants included patients (n010), artists (n05), and referring health professionals (n03). Results Themes that emerged from the analysis included perceived benefits, role and value of the intervention, and setting and referral process. Central to these themes were psychological and mental health benefits, an appreciated holistic treatment option and the merits of the intervention being situated in the surgery setting. Conclusions The study showed that art interventions within primary care are valuable in the promotion of public health, and in particular, patients' mental health. Interactions between other participants and the artist were central to achieving patients' perceived health improvement. Locating the intervention in primary care facilitated patient participation and provided health professionals with a holistic treatment alternative. There is also some evidence that participation in the intervention encourages less dependence on the health professional.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)519-524
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Public Health
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012


  • Art intervention, Holistic well-being, Primary care, Psychological benefits, Qualitative