Health Communication and the Arts in the United States: A Scoping Review

Jill Sonke, Kelley Sams, Jane Morgan-Daniel, Nancy Schaefer, Virginia Pesata, Tasha Golden, Heather Stuckey

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Objectives: Guided by the hypothesis that the arts can play a role in changing attitudes, beliefs, and health behaviors, the objectives of the study were to (1) overview artistic practices, interventions, and research being conducted at the intersection of the arts and health communication and (2) identify desired and observed outcomes and variables measured in these studies. Data Source: The search strategy was developed iteratively with 2 health science librarians and conducted using 8 databases (Applied Social Sciences Index and Abstracts, Art and Architecture Source, CINAHL, Communication and Mass Media Complete, ERIC, PsycINFO, PubMed, and Web of Science) and hand searching. Articles included were published between 2014 and 2018. Study Inclusion and Exclusion Criteria: Inclusion criteria include US nonclinical setting and use of the arts (broadly defined) to change health knowledge, beliefs, behaviors, or awareness. Any articles not meeting inclusion criteria were excluded. Data Extraction: Covidence’s data extraction tool exported to MS Excel. Data Synthesis: This final set of results was analyzed and synthesized by research design, population, sample size, health issue, purpose, variables measured, and findings. Results: In all, 78 articles met inclusion criteria. Number of participants ranged from 4 to 2140 (mean = 179); 61 (78.2%) outcome studies, including 8 experimental studies; 17 (21.79%) formative research or reports. Many different health topics were addressed and different art forms used. Conclusion: The arts can help build knowledge and awareness of health issues. The authors highlight the need to build an evidence base for arts and public health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)106-115
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Health Promotion
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Health Communication and the Arts in the United States: A Scoping Review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this