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Arts and vulnerable people:

Examining the evidence base


Lemos&Crane are working on a range of projects to improve access and inclusion for excluded adults, such as people with learning disabilities, prisoners and ex-offenders, homeless people and people with mental health problems, to the arts museums and galleries.

This academic paper reviews the research evidence on the impact of arts therapy for vulnerable people (including those with mental illness, individuals in palliative care, older people, homeless people and prisoners). Participation in arts projects is linked to positive outcomes, such as symptomatic relief, raised self-esteem, and building social capital. While there is a need for more large-scale studies that differentiate between various types of therapy, the inherent value of producing and being involved in art should play a role when thinking about the added value of arts therapy. 


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