Practitioner Review: Effectiveness and mechanisms of change in participatory arts‐based programmes for promoting youth mental health and well‐being – a systematic review

Williams, Emma, Glew, Sarah, Newman, Hannah, Kapka, Agneiska, Shaughnessy, Nicola, Herbert, Ruth, Walduck, Jackie, Foster, Annette, Cooke, Paul, Pethybridge, Ruth ORCID logoORCID:, Shaughnessy, Caitlin and Hugh‐Jones, Siobhan (2023) Practitioner Review: Effectiveness and mechanisms of change in participatory arts‐based programmes for promoting youth mental health and well‐being – a systematic review. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 64 (12). pp. 1735-1764. ISSN 1469-7610

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Abstract / Summary

BackgroundParticipatory arts‐based (PAB) programmes refer to a diverse range of community programmes involving active engagement in the creation process that appear helpful to several aspects of children's and young people's (CYP) mental health and well‐being. This mixed‐methods systematic review synthesises evidence relating to the effectiveness and mechanisms of change in PAB programmes for youth.MethodStudies were identified following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta‐Analyses approach. Eleven electronic databases were searched for studies of PAB programmes conducted with CYP (aged 4–25 years), which reported mental health and well‐being effectiveness outcomes and/or mechanisms of change. A mixed‐methods appraisal tool assessed study quality. A narrative synthesis was conducted of effectiveness and challenges in capturing this. Findings relating to reported mechanisms of change were integrated via a metasummary.ResultsTwenty‐two studies were included. Evidence of effectiveness from quantitative studies was limited by methodological issues. The metasummary identified mechanisms of change resonant with those proposed in talking therapies. Additionally, PAB programmes appear beneficial to CYP by fostering a therapeutic space characterised by subverting restrictive social rules, communitas that is not perceived as coercive, and inviting play and embodied understanding.ConclusionsThere is good evidence that there are therapeutic processes in PAB programmes. There is a need for more transdisciplinary work to increase understanding of context–mechanism–outcome pathways, including the role played by different art stimuli and practices. Going forward, transdisciplinary teams are needed to quantify short‐ and long‐term mental health and well‐being outcomes and to investigate optimal programme durations in relation to population and need. Such teams would also be best placed to work on resolving inter‐disciplinary methodological tensions.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number:
Uncontrolled Keywords: Psychiatry and Mental health, Developmental and Educational Psychology, Pediatrics, Perinatology and Child Health
ISSN: 1469-7610
Subjects: Philosophy & Psychology
Courses by Department: Academy of Music & Theatre Arts > Dance
SWORD Depositor: Mr Pub Router
Depositing User: Mr Pub Router
Date Deposited: 09 Nov 2023 09:20
Last Modified: 14 Dec 2023 11:39


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