The acceptability, effectiveness and gender responsiveness of participatory arts interventions in promoting mental health and Wellbeing: a systematic review

Shane O'Donnell*, Maria Lohan, John Oliffe, David Grant, Karen Galway

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background:This mixed methods review synthesizes the evidence of acceptability, effectiveness and gender-responsiveness of participatory arts interventions (PAIs) in promoting mental health and wellbeing among adults. Methods: The search was restricted to empirical studies of PAIs that reported on outcomes relating to common mental health problems and wellbeing among adults aged ≥18 years old. The mixed methods appraisal tool was used for quality appraisal. A narrative synthesis was conducted. Results:Thirty-two studies were included (1,058 participants). Typical PAI features are discussed. The evidence for effectiveness is limited by methodological issues. PAIs are perceived to benefit mental health via improved connectedness; emotional regulation; meaning-making & re-defining identity; and personal growth & empowerment. Conclusion: The review highlights the dearth of studies focused on men. Research standards to establish the evidence of effectiveness and the need to expand the evidence of acceptability beyond the “perceived effectiveness” domain are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalArts & Health: An International Journal for Research, Policy and Practice
Early online date04 Mar 2021
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online date - 04 Mar 2021

Keywords

  • Mental Health
  • Participatory arts
  • Men
  • Acceptability
  • Systematic Review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Health(social science)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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