Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care


Cultural Contexts of Health

The Cultural Contexts of Health programme is led by the Division of Information, Evidence, Research and Innovation at the WHO Regional Office for Europe, under the umbrella of the European Health Information Initiative. As part of this programme, UCL is working on a project focusing on the role of the arts in improving health and well-being in the WHO European Region.

A central part of this project is the development of a Health Evidence Network (HEN) Evidence Synthesis Report that summarises the best available evidence on arts and cultural engagement in relation to health and well-being to respond to policy questions and propose concrete, actionable policy options. This report was completed in 2019 and summarised the findings from over 3,000 studies.

The programme has also led to the publication of a 2-page new evidence summary briefing on arts and health, and a Health 2020 report summarising how the arts can help in the achievement of the global sustainable development goals for health. 

In 2020, the programme led to the publication of a new special edition of the WHO Panorama on arts and health as well as a policy report applying the findings of the whole 3-year programme to the UK policy context, commissioned by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

The Cultural Contexts of Health programme is funded by the WHO Regional Office for Europe.

Principal Investigator:

Contact: Dr Daisy Fancourt

Collaborators: Saoirse Finn