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Assessing the impact of artistic and cultural activities on the health and well-being of forcibly displaced people using participatory action research

Clini, C; Thomson, LJM; Chatterjee, HJ; (2019) Assessing the impact of artistic and cultural activities on the health and well-being of forcibly displaced people using participatory action research. BMJ Open , 9 (2) , Article e025465. 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-025465. Green open access

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Drawing on a growing body of research suggesting that taking part in artistic and cultural activities benefits health and well-being, the objective was to develop a participatory action research (PAR) method for assessing the impact of arts interventions on forcibly displaced people, and identify themes concerning perceived benefits of such programmes. DESIGN: A collaborative study following PAR principles of observation, focus groups and in-depth semistructured interviews. SETTING: London-based charity working with asylum seekers and refugees. PARTICIPANTS: An opportunity sample (n=31; 6 males) participated in focus groups comprising refugees/asylum seekers (n=12; 2 males), volunteers (n=4; 1 males) and charity staff (n=15; 3 males). A subset of these (n=17; 3 males) participated in interviews comprising refugees/asylum seekers (n=7; 1 males), volunteers (n=7; 1 males) and charity staff (n=3; 1 males). RESULTS: Focus group findings showed that participants articulated the impact of creative activities around three main themes: skills, social engagement and personal emotions that were explored during in-depth interviews. Thematic analysis of interviews was conducted in NVivo 11 and findings showed that artistic and cultural activities impacted positively by helping participants find a voice, create support networks and learn practical skills useful in the labour market. CONCLUSIONS: The study expanded on arts and well-being research by exploring effects of cultural and creative activities on the psychosocial well-being of refugees and asylum seekers. By focusing on the relationship between arts, well-being and forced displacement, the study was instrumental in actively trying to change the narrative surrounding refugees and asylum seekers, often depicted in negative terms in the public sphere.

Type: Article
Title: Assessing the impact of artistic and cultural activities on the health and well-being of forcibly displaced people using participatory action research
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-025465
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2018-025465
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
Keywords: Creative activities, forced displacement, participatory action research, post-traumatic stress disorder, refugees and asylum seekers
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Genetics, Evolution and Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Arts and Sciences (BASc)
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10068862
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