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Center for Arts in Medicine

Research

Arts & Wellbeing Indicators

Florida Arts & Wellbeing Indicators Project

The Florida Arts & Wellbeing Indicators project was undertaken in three phases over three years (2015-2018) by an interdisciplinary team of investigators at the University of Florida Center for Arts in Medicine, with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts administered and awarded by the State of Florida Division of Cultural Affairs. 

The overarching goal of the project was to develop a set of indicators that could measure associations between arts participation and wellbeing at the community level.

The project team included investigators from the arts, community development and public health, epidemiologists, a biostatistician and a statistical epidemiologist, supported by research associates and assistants from the Center’s Interdisciplinary Research Lab and DCA staff. The project also utilized key partnerships with arts, public health and other community organizations in nine counties.

 Over three years, the project:

  • reviewed the literature and other similar indicators models
  • developed and tested (in nine Florida counties) 13 indicators for associating arts participation and wellbeing at the community level 
  • developed a single survey instrument, in English and Spanish, for collection of all primary data 
  • identified and tested inclusion of secondary data sets in the model 
  • tested various methods for primary data collection
  • analyzed costs associated with data collection and analysis
  • developed and tested a statistical model for analysis of primary and secondary data
  • developed toolkits for data collection and data analysis

Analyses were conducted at the county and state levels. With an oversampling at the state level, our findings indicate a predicted influence of arts participation on physical and mental health. Those who participated in the arts were more likely to rate their mental health, physical health and quality of life positively, compared to those who do not participate. Additionally, it seems that arts participation may be a better indicator of mental health outcomes than of physical outcomes. Cross-sectionally, higher scores for global physical and mental health, as well as flourishing, were found for those who participate in the arts. After adjusting for potential confounders, we found a strong association between the arts contributing to personal quality of life with participation in the arts. 

Most significantly, the results indicate that the current model is effective and reliable in associating arts participation with wellbeing at the community level.

The Florida Arts & Wellbeing Indicators are available for use by other organizations, within or outside of the state of Florida.

Click here to download the project Executive Summary

Click here to download the Data Collection Toolkit

Click here to download the Data Analysis Toolkit

Contact the Center for Arts in Medicine at cam@arts.ufl.edu to request a copy of the full project report, including the survey instruments, data tables, and other project findings and details. 

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