Public Health England has issued a new publication to help commissioners gather robust evidence of the effectiveness of arts projects.

Man looking at art

New guidance for practitioners on how best to document the impact of arts for health and wellbeing projects has been published by Public Health England. It proposes a standard framework for reporting project outcomes, to enable realistic assessment and appropriate comparisons to be made between programmes.

Based on an earlier framework published in an academic journal, the new document, ‘Arts for health and wellbeing: an evaluation framework’, aims to reach beyond the academic community to health commissioners, funders, arts organisations and researchers with an interest in the development and evaluation of arts for health and wellbeing programmes.

The document describes the range of arts activities that can be used in health and wellbeing interventions, and the resources needed to develop and sustain best practice. It is hoped that, by providing evidence of the effectiveness, impacts and costs of this type of work, robust evaluation techniques can strengthen understanding of which arts interventions work in specific contexts and provide evidence that will encourage the inclusion of arts in commissioning by health and social care services. 

Liz Hill