The benefits of arts-based activities for older patients has been highlighted through a visual arts project delivered by Oxford Health Arts Partnership (OHAP) and evaluated in partnership with the University of Oxford's Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, supported by Oxford Health Charity.

The project, Arts Impact Measured (AIM) 2, is part of a series of evaluations for Creative Health projects delivered in Oxford.  As well as exploring the impact of the project on the patient groups, it also discusses the benefits for having activity co-ordinators on in-patient wards to support ongoing activities.

Read the full report here

The evaluation was conducted by student researcher Madeline Tatum, who noted that patients displayed a variety of reactions to the activity; such as joy, challenge, growth, connection, relaxation.

I really enjoyed it. I liked it very much. I liked putting the colours together. I don’t need artistic skill; it is a process


of patients rated the activity as “brilliant” 


This project ran for 6 weeks for older adults staying on community and mental health wards at the Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust. All arts activities delivered by freelance Artist-in-Resident, Tabatha Grove, were curated to cater to diverse patient demographics and ranged from mandala dot painting to creating tissue paper poppy flowers on Remembrance Day.

The evaluation concluded that the arts activities conducted as a part of this intervention were effective in improving patient mood and fostering a culture of connection, offering a low cost, low risk and effective way to create these outcomes.

To support other initiatives like this and bring art into the wards for future patients - support Arts in Healthcare