The connection between art, healing, and public health: a review of current literature

Am J Public Health. 2010 Feb;100(2):254-63. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2008.156497. Epub 2009 Dec 17.


This review explores the relationship between engagement with the creative arts and health outcomes, specifically the health effects of music engagement, visual arts therapy, movement-based creative expression, and expressive writing. Although there is evidence that art-based interventions are effective in reducing adverse physiological and psychological outcomes, the extent to which these interventions enhance health status is largely unknown. Our hope is to establish a foundation for continued investigation into this subject and to generate further interest in researching the complexities of engagement with the arts and health.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Chronic Disease / therapy
  • Exercise Movement Techniques
  • Health Promotion*
  • Humans
  • Rehabilitation / methods
  • Sensory Art Therapies* / methods
  • Writing