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Culture on referral: research digest

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Culture on referral (also known as arts on prescription) is the process by which a GP or other health/social care professional, local agency (including cultural organisations and community groups) refers a person to an arts or cultural programme. These referrals sit within the broader movement of ‘social prescribing’, a broad range of non-medical referrals designed to improve health and wellbeing. It is also possible for people to self-refer to programmes, with many cultural organisations advertising these programmes within their local communities.

We evaluated the evidence surrounding the value of culture on referral programmes and how they might contribute to improved health and wellbeing outcomes and impacts through synthesising and appraising evidence published since 2010.

This rapid review of the academic literature was conducted between October and December 2019 and was updated ahead of publication in September 2020.

Image: Aesop’s Dance to Health Norfolk Celebration held on 9 August 2019 at Norwich Theatre Royal. Photo: Becky Demmen

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