Evaluating effectiveness of arts and health programmes in Primary Health Care: a descriptive review
Tesch, LK and Hansen, EC, Evaluating effectiveness of arts and health programmes in Primary Health Care: a descriptive review, Arts and Health: An International Journal for Research, Policy and Practice, 5, (1) pp. 19-38. ISSN 1753-3023 (2013) [Refereed Article]
Primary Objective: This descriptive review investigated how arts and health programmes and projects in Primary Health Care evaluate their effectiveness. A systematic search was undertaken of articles and reports that reported results from arts and health project and programme evaluations in Primary Health Care settings from 2004 to 2009. Twenty-nine articles or reports met the inclusion criteria. These articles were analysed to identify the characteristics of the evaluations, evaluation tools used, and what the evaluations measured.
Main outcomes and results: The review found that a range of different approaches, models and designs are used to evaluate arts and health programmes or projects in Primary Health Care. Questionnaires and interviews were the most common data collection tools used, with a majority of studies using qualitative or mixed methods. The review also identified three main approaches in terms of what factors were measured: measuring the programme objectives, measuring for specific health status or health factors and measuring the experience.
Conclusions: The focus on arts and health evaluation to date has largely been to justify funding or prove that the art in the health arena is worthwhile or cost-effective. As arts and health becomes established as its own area of practice we face the challenge of ascertaining how to best evaluate such programmes.