British Doctors May Prescribe the Arts to Treat Ailments

The Smithsonian Magazine is reporting on a new initiative unveiled recently by British Health Secretary Matt Hancock that will allow doctors to prescribe therapeutic art lessons to treat ailments ranging from dementia to lung conditions. This approach, called Social Prescribing, demonstrates there are medical benefits to the therapeutic arts as a way to improve “concentration and communication skills” of dementia patients and singing lessons have been shown to increase the lung capacity of patients with lung diseases. You can access the article at

Similar studies have been conducted in Canada and the U.S. The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA) recently supported a study, done by Dr. Catherine Richmond Cullen from the University of Scranton, on how the arts help Seniors combat loneliness. You can download a PowerPoint about this study here.

Jenny HershourComment