Breathe Magic in the World Health Organisation report

We’re delighted that our Breathe Magic Intensive Therapy programme has been selected as a case study of good evidence and practice in the World Health Organisation’s report on the evidence on arts in health and wellbeing, released today.  This report is the largest ever review of the evidence in this area, and breaks new ground in synthesising research from across the spectrum of arts in health, from specific arts-based clinical programmes like ours, to assessments of the role of the arts in keeping us well at a population level.  It was co-authored by Dr Daisy Fancourt, Associate Professor at University College London and one of Breathe’s Board Directors.

From our range of arts in health programmes, Breathe Magic was selected as an example due to its innovative approach of applying an artistic solution (learning magic skills) to a long-standing healthcare challenge (the effective treatment of hemiplegia in young people).  But it was also selected due to the range and strength of the research around the programme’s impact and effectiveness, in which we have explored both the physical and psychosocial benefits for the young people who take part and their families.

Our Director Rosie Dow says, “Anyone working on arts projects in healthcare settings will tell you about the life-changing impact a high-quality programme like Breathe Magic can have, as we’ve all seen it first-hand.  But evidence is so important: research studies and evidence reviews like this drive quality, by helping us understand what’s working and why.  They also convince others to invest both time and funds in these important programmes, and encourage people to take an active role in their own creativity to support their recovery and wellbeing.  This all helps the development of the field as a whole, allowing organisations like Breathe to advocate – both to the NHS and government, and to the wider public – for arts in health.  Being a part of this report means we have been recognised for our contribution to the evidence base, so this is a big moment for us”.

Check out the WHO report here with our feature on page 40.