Salus journal

Healthy Planet. Healthy People.

Science & research / Arts and health

European Healthcare Design 2018

How the arts, creativity and cultural participation can support health

By Dr Daisy Fancourt 23 Oct 2018 0

Dr Daisy Fancourt details the growing research demonstrating the effects of arts and cultural engagement on health across the lifespan, from lullabies helping premature babies to gain weight, to magic tricks improving hand function in hemiplegia, to dance helping people with Parkinson’s disease to walk.


This presentation will discuss recent research from psychobiology and epidemiology studies, and give an overview of some of the major developments in this area of work, including the publication of a report from the All Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing and the launch of the Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance.

Daisy Fancourt is a senior research associate and Wellcome research fellow in the Psychobiology Group, Department of Behavioural Science and Health, at UCL. Daisy studied at Oxford University and King’s College London before completing her PhD in psychoneuroimmunology at UCL. She subsequently undertook postdoctoral work at the Centre for Performance Science (a partnership of the Faculty of Medicine at Imperial College London and the Royal College of Music) before returning to UCL last year.

Alongside her research, she has worked for more than seven years in the NHS, including at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, where she has managed arts and clinical innovations programmes, working alongside clinicians to devise interventions to improve patient experience and clinical outcomes. She has also worked as a consultant for a range of hospitals and Clinical Commissioning Groups on the integration of the arts within care pathways in primary, secondary and tertiary care.

Daisy is a fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health and deputy chair of its Special Interest Group on Arts and Health. She is also a BBC New Generation Thinker and a World Economic Forum Global Shaper.

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