School of Population and Global Health

Health and Arts projects

DNA - art by Christina Mills  

Further information

Academic staff

The Impact and Effectiveness of the Musica Viva Live Performance Plus Program on Regional Western Australian Children (2013-2015)

Since 1981, Musica Viva has presented one of Australia’s most respected and highly regarded music education programs known as Live Performance Plus. Rio Tinto is Musica Viva’s National Education Partner and has sponsored Live Performance Plus since 2010.  The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact and effectiveness of ensemble performances by surveying teachers and students. 

The 2013 report found that Musica Viva was successful at delivering a high quality program that teachers and students found enjoyable.  The Live Performance Plus program was effective at teaching students about music and culture, and had a supportive impact on student wellbeing.  The majority of students suggested that going to the concert made them feel happy.  Significantly more students felt happy after the concert than before the concert. 

This study is being conducted on behalf of RioTinto and Musica Viva Australia.

The Impact of the Creative Health & Education Partnerships - Artist in Residence (AIR) Grants Program

The Creative Health and Education Partnership - Artist in Residence (AIR) Grants Program implemented by Hospital School Services & the Child and Adolescent Health Service, was designed to benefit patients/students by providing a creative distraction from the hospital environment and the stressors associated with undergoing medical treatment.The aim of this evaluation was to assess the impact of the AIR Grants Program via feedback from patients/students, parents and staff.

Overall, the majority of children enjoyed taking part in the program and significantly more children felt happy after participating in the program than before the program.  The program was a positive experience, a distraction from the hospital environment, taught children about art and had a beneficial impact on health and wellbeing.

This study was completed on behalf of Hospital School Services, Princess Margaret Hospital & the Child and Adolescent Health Service.   

Defining arts engagement for population based research

The arts and health evidence base needs to be grounded by common terminology and concepts from which original research and comparative studies can be developed. The aim of this study was to elucidate terminology central to understanding the arts and health causal pathway by defining arts engagement via art forms, activities and level (magnitude) of engagement.

Study findings provide guidance about which art forms and activities should be included in population surveys and provide a measurement of exposure for use in studies investigating the relationship between arts engagement and health. 

This study was funded by Healthway.   

Paper available at:

Are the arts an effective setting for promoting health messages?

The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of arts sponsorship to promote health messages (physical activity, sun protection, nutrition, safe alcohol consumption and anti-smoking) and therefore gauge the effectiveness of the arts as a setting to promote health to the general population.

Findings from this study suggest the arts have merit beyond intrinsic artistic value and are a viable means of promoting health messages to the general population. 

This study was funded by Healthway.

Paper available at:

Health in arts: are arts settings better than sports settings for promoting anti-smoking messages?

Tobacco smoking is a leading cause of preventable mortality and morbidity. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of ‘health in arts’ by measuring the cognitive impact (message awareness, comprehension, acceptance and intention) of promoting anti-smoking messages at arts events, and comparing findings to sports events, a more traditional health promotion setting. 

This study provides evidence of the effectiveness of arts sponsorship.  Promoting an anti-smoking message in arts settings was as, or more, effective than in sports settings. Results suggest that the arts should be utilised to communicate and reinforce anti-smoking messages to the general population.

Paper available at:




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Last updated:
Wednesday, 12 March, 2014 3:30 PM