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Art, nature and mental health: assessing the biopsychosocial effects of a 'creative green prescription' museum programme involving horticulture, artmaking and collections

Thomson, LJ; Morse, N; Elsden, E; Chatterjee, HJ; (2020) Art, nature and mental health: assessing the biopsychosocial effects of a 'creative green prescription' museum programme involving horticulture, artmaking and collections. Perspectives in Public Health , 140 (5) pp. 277-285. 10.1177/1757913920910443. Green open access

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Abstract

AIMS: To assess the biopsychosocial effects of participation in a unique, combined arts- and nature-based museum intervention, involving engagement with horticulture, artmaking and museum collections, on adult mental health service users. METHODS: Adult mental health service users (total n = 46 across two phases) with an average age of 53 were referred through social prescribing by community partners (mental health nurse and via a day centre for disadvantaged and vulnerable adults) to a 10-week 'creative green prescription' programme held in Whitworth Park and the Whitworth Art Gallery. The study used an exploratory sequential mixed methods design comprising two phases - Phase 1 (September to December 2016): qualitative research investigating the views of participants (n = 26) through semi-structured interviews and diaries and Phase 2 (February to April 2018): quantitative research informed by Phase 1 analysing psychological wellbeing data from participants (n = 20) who completed the UCL Museum Wellbeing Measure pre-post programme. RESULTS: Inductive thematic analysis of Phase 1 interview data revealed increased feelings of wellbeing brought about by improved self-esteem, decreased social isolation and the formation of communities of practice. Statistical analysis of pre-post quantitative measures in Phase 2 found a highly significant increase in psychological wellbeing. CONCLUSION: Creative green prescription programmes, using a combination of arts- and nature-based activities, present distinct synergistic benefits that have the potential to make a significant impact on the psychosocial wellbeing of adult mental health service users. Museums with parks and gardens should consider integrating programmes of outdoor and indoor collections-inspired creative activities permitting combined engagement with nature, art and wellbeing.

Type: Article
Title: Art, nature and mental health: assessing the biopsychosocial effects of a 'creative green prescription' museum programme involving horticulture, artmaking and collections
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/1757913920910443
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1757913920910443
Language: English
Additional information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).
Keywords: creative activities, green prescriptions, mental health service user, mixed methods, museum intervention, psychological wellbeing, social prescribing
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Social Research Institute
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/10099600
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