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A Hole in the Heart: confronting the drive for evidence-based impact research in arts in health

Raw, A.; Lewis, S.; Russell, A.; Macnaughton, J.

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Authors

A. Raw

S. Lewis



Abstract

The field of arts and health, and associated academic discussion, is beset by a number of interlinked challenges which make it vulnerable to academic dismissal or, at best, poor visibility. One of these is a preoccupation with developing an evidence base of impact. This is compounded by resistance to definitions, disagreement over what constitutes appropriate evidence of success, and inadequate consideration of the mechanisms of arts and health practice, as opposed to outcomes. We argue that increased attention should be paid to the description, analysis and theorising of the practice itself as the basis upon which the findings of impact studies can be understood and accepted. A literature review identifies some important emerging themes in community arts and health practice, and some lacunae in need of further investigation. We conclude that an interdisciplinary theoretical framework for the practice could make a valuable contribution to the academic status of the field.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Oct 20, 2011
Publication Date Jun 1, 2012
Deposit Date Dec 16, 2011
Publicly Available Date Oct 20, 2012
Journal Arts and Health: An International Journal for Research, Policy and Practice
Print ISSN 1753-3015
Electronic ISSN 1753-3023
Publisher Taylor and Francis Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 4
Issue 2
Pages 97-108
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/17533015.2011.619991
Keywords Arts and health, Participatory arts, Practice, Interdisciplinarity, Theoretical frameworks.
Public URL https://durham-repository.worktribe.com/output/1532645

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