Third Arts in Health Survey suggests GPs will consider arts interventions if they can overcome barriers

Commissioned by Aesop Arts and Society, a 3rd survey of GP’s attitudes towards arts interventions suggests nearly half of GPs believe the arts can be a cost-effective way to deliver primary care to the public.

 

The third survey of GP’s attitudes towards arts interventions, commissioned by Aesop Arts and Society, suggests nearly half of GPs believe the arts can be a cost-effective way to deliver primary care to the public. The majority also believe public engagement with the arts can make a significant contribution to the prevention agenda. However, very few actually refer patients to arts interventions. This is due to a lack of GP awareness of programmes and a lack of evidence of impact; a clear challenge to the arts sector.

The survey was conducted by Savanta ComRes. They interviewed 1,001 UK General Practitioners (GPs) online from 5th to 28th November 2021.

Just under half (47%) of UK GPs agree that arts-based interventions can be a cost-effective way to deliver primary care to the public to improve health outcomes.

Two thirds of UK GPs agree that public engagement with the arts can make a significant contribution to the prevention agenda (65%).

Despite a belief in the power of the arts. In the past year, only 9% have referred patients to local arts interventions to improve their health.

Barriers raised when referring patients to local arts interventions include a lack of awareness of the programmes amongst GPs (72%) and no clear evidence of impact (31%).

Tim Joss, Founder and Chief Executive of Aesop Arts and Society commented

“These survey results present a clear challenge to the arts sector. It must communicate more effectively with health. Health needs well-evidenced arts programmes, just as it needs well-evidenced pills, physiotherapy and Covid vaccines. The message is this: evaluate the health improvements of your programme and shout positive results from the rooftops. If we do this, our voices will be heard, our work will be taken up by the health system and, most importantly, our participants and audiences will enjoy better health.”

Aesop

Launched in 2014,  Aesop’s mission is to realise the potential of UK’s world-class and wide-reaching arts sector to transform people’s lives. Health is our initial focus: helping health harness the powers of the arts, and helping the arts gear up to deliver health improvement. Uniquely, we start with health challenges, and incubate and support arts enterprises with a social purpose (‘aesops’). These employ high quality artists and, from a health point of view, are designed to be evidence-based, cost-effective, sustainable and scalable. As well as its flagship ‘aesop’ (Dance to Health) and the Active Ingredients Project.

Find out more via ae-sop.org

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