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The Sidney De Haan Research Centre examines the role that participation in creative arts activities, particularly singing and dance, may play in promoting wellbeing and good health.

The Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health is committed to researching the potential value of music, and other participative arts activities, in the promotion of wellbeing and health of individuals and communities, and continues to build the case for Singing on Prescription. We have shown that group singing has positive benefits for people with enduring mental health issues and people with COPD and dementia and their carers.

We have conducted the world’s first randomised controlled trial on community singing with older adults showing improvements in mental wellbeing, and have recently contributed to a Cochrane Review on Singing and COPD. For an overview of our work on singing, please click here.

We have also researched the role of art galleries and museums in promoting wellbeing; the value of drama workshops for children with communication difficulties, and the benefits of dance for older people with dementia and at risk of falls. The Centre is currently working closely with the Canterbury Cantata Trust, and collaborators internationally, to promote the value of regular singing for people with Parkinson’s. For an overview of our current and past research, please click here.

In addition to research, the Centre has made important contributions to promoting the field of arts and health nationally and internationally through creating: the journal Arts & Health, the Oxford University Press Textbook for Creative Arts, Health and Wellbeing, the Royal Society for Public Health, Special Interest Group for Arts, Health and Wellbeing and a web Repository for Arts and Health Resources. The Centre is also leading in the creation of a new arts and health network across the Cathedrals Group of universities in the UK.

Core funding support for the Centre’s work has been generously provided by the Roger De Haan Charitable Trust, and currently by the Oak Foundation until 2020. Further funding for specific projects has come from a variety of sources, including: The National Institute for Health Research, the Dunhill Medical Trust, the Arts and Humanities Research CouncilGuy’s and St. Thomas’ Charity, Wellcome Trust, and local NHS Trusts in Kent.