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Reading: Creative Approaches to Healthcare: Embracing The Arts to Improve Social and Wellbeing Outcomes


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Creative Approaches to Healthcare: Embracing The Arts to Improve Social and Wellbeing Outcomes


Madeline Collins

Gold Coast Health, Australia, AU
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There is strong empirical evidence that Arts and health activity in hospitals improves the individual and collective experience of health and wellbeing for patients, carers, staff, and the community.  In times of crisis, the Arts play a significant role, leading the way in helping communities innovate, adapt, support each other, and most importantly - stay connected. These attributes have served Gold Coast Health well in establishing a ‘Creative Health Hub’ to drive vital social and wellbeing outcomes throughout the pandemic. This presentation will explore the journey of integrating an Arts program across a major public health service, highlighting the benefits of creative initiatives in improving and enriching the experience of healthcare for patients.

Since its inception, the Creative Health Hub has implemented a continuous program of Arts-based initiatives, including; a regular performance schedule, dedicated art gallery spaces with rotatable exhibitions, a community library, creative workshops for staff, the addition of public pianos, volunteer musicians assisting in clinical areas, and a music and arts festival to promote positive mental health. Surveys conducted with patients, staff and the community reveal a range of measurable benefits across three main areas:

1.Health Promotion: through improvements in population health outcomes by using the Arts to promote healthy lifestyles, discussing sensitive health issues, communicating health-related concerns, and increasing health literacy.

2.Healthcare: through improvements in quality of services and experiences of consumers and staff

3.Community wellbeing: through developing social cohesion and wellbeing by building community resilience, cultural maintenance for Indigenous and other population groups, and promoting cultural diversity.

This presentation will highlight the results achieved with patients, staff and the community through the development of the Creative Health Hub. The presenter will reflect on the challenges and considerations involved in integrating the arts within a large organisation, including developing a vision and strategy, establishing stakeholder support, identifying key priority areas, fostering partnerships, and delivering sustainable and effective arts initiatives.

How to Cite: Collins M. Creative Approaches to Healthcare: Embracing The Arts to Improve Social and Wellbeing Outcomes. International Journal of Integrated Care. 2022;22(S3):469. DOI:
Published on 04 Nov 2022.


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