Previous research background - Touch and Wellbeing

Object handling session

Over the past few years we have been researching the role of museums in improving health and wellbeing with a special focus on the benefits of touch and object handling for people in hospitals and healthcare settings.

Patient's bedside
Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), this three-year study explored the therapeutic potential of handling and discussing museum objects with hospital patients at their bedsides.
A follow-up study funded by the AHRC, developed the UCL Museum Wellbeing Measures Toolkit suitable for older adults and people with dementia that involved over 30 specialist museums and healthcare partners.
Thanks to a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), the volunteer programme provided training for museum and hospital volunteers to take museum collections to people in hospitals, care homes and day centres.
Workshops and publications
MUSEUMS + WELLBEING WORKSHOPS In 2011, a series of AHRC funded workshops was hosted in London, Manchester and Newcastle-upon-Tyne to discuss the outcomes of heritage-in health interventions. TOUCH + WELLBEING WORKSHOPS
During 2006-2007, UCL organised a series of workshops, funded by the AHRC, for experts from museum and academic backgrounds to explore touch and the value of object handling.
The results of these studies have led to the publication of books and book chapters, practice guides, exhibition brochures and a dozen or more journal articles.

For further information contact:

Dr Helen Chatterjee
Head of Research and Teaching
UCL Museums and Public Engagement and a Senior Lecturer in Biology
UCL Biosciences
Dr Linda Thomson
Research Associate
UCL Museums and Public Engagement  
Supported by the National LotteryArts and Humanities Research Council