Title: Attendance of cultural events and involvement with the arts– impact evaluation on health and well-being from a Swiss household panel survey
Citation: PUBLIC HEALTH vol. 139 p. 161-169
Publication Year: 2016
JRC N°: JRC98792
ISSN: 0033-3506
URI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.puhe.2016.06.028
DOI: 10.1016/j.puhe.2016.06.028
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Objectives: Although there is strong uptake of active or passive engagement with the cultural and creative activities as determinants of individual health and well-being, few population studies report any causal influence on self-reported and physical health or life satisfaction from engagement with the arts (playing an instrument or singing, painting, sculpture) or passive cultural participation (attending the cinema, theatre, opera and exhibitions). This study set out to investigate any potential derived benefits to the Swiss population. Material and methods: The 2010 and 2013 waves of the Swiss Household Panel study were used for analysis. The data are representative for the Swiss population aged over 14 with respect to major demographic variables. Using longitudinal data, the strengths of the two approaches to evaluating causal inference were simultaneously applied: propensity score matching (PSM) and difference-in-differences (DID). PSM attempted to eliminate selection bias by conditioning on confounding variables. DID estimator was applied to remove unobserved fixed effects via intra-individual comparisons over time by comparing the trends in a matched treatment and control group. Results: The study showed that cultural activity – of any type, passive or active – did not seem to have any causative influence on health and well-being. Results showed that long-term health and well-being did not improve significantly as a result of any specific activity in the cultural arena. Conclusions: The investigation provided little evidence to justify health promotion messages for involvement with the arts. Nevertheless, these findings do not contest that active or passive participation in cultural and arts related activities may be beneficial to health and well-being when guided by qualified therapists to treat specific health-related problems.
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