Creative Engagement and Research

THAT logo

Tayside Healthcare Arts Trust (THAT) proposes that creative engagement through the arts is of significant benefit to the health and wellbeing of those recovering from or living with Long Term Conditions (LTC).

All our programmes are delivered in partnership with either NHS Tayside, the three local authorities, national organisations or autonomous local groups.  THAT employs professional Lead Artists to both run the programmes and help design their creative engagement content.  Volunteer Artists are also recruited to provide practical artistic support to the Lead Artists and gain experience of Arts in Health work. 

The Projects, through their funding agreements, meet the delivery costs for each programme.  All partners provide a named Link, staff/volunteer support and where possible premises to host the programmes.  

Currently THAT is delivering our Long Term Conditions Creative Engagement project 2013-15 funded by Creative Scotland and NHS Tayside. This project will compare the effectiveness of 3 different art forms (Visual Arts, Performance and Musicality) with different Long Term Conditions Groups, COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) and Dementia.  THAT will host a platform Arts and Health Educational Exchange to be held within Dundee Contemporary Arts in September/October 2015.  The findings from this project and the ACES Research Project will be shared at the platform Arts and Health Event.  If you would like to contribute or for further information regarding this event please contact THAT office.

Project Aims

We have developed three key aims to achieve with our partners that relate to all our projects:

  • Each THAT Project will seek to provide participants with improvements to their personal health and wellbeing, and so also benefit carers/staff 
  • All THAT programmes will be thoroughly monitored and evaluated, providing a research and evidence-based model of service for partnership working across these areas of care
  • THAT will continue to advance its understanding of how best the arts can support this sector in delivering patient wellbeing and promoting self management
The programmes are designed to challenge participants to enjoy exploring their creative abilities and so rediscover positive qualities about themselves.

ST/ART Project

THAT has worked with Stroke and Acquired Brain Injury participants since 2004, through the long running ST/ART Project.  We now run a highly valued service across Tayside in Inpatient Rehabilitation Units, with Community Support groups and as an access route to Mainstream Cultural Provision.


Through the work of the ST/ART Project and our other Long Term Condition Participatory Arts programmes we have learnt a lot about the value of creative engagement, in its many forms, as a contribution to Health and Wellbeing.  We know this because we have evaluated all our work and analysed the evidence we have gathered.

This work has led to THAT’s further collaboration with NHS Tayside and the area of University Academic Research.  We are currently awaiting the outcome of a significant research bid to the Chief Scientists Office, which would see THAT, NHS Tayside, The Social Dimensions of Health Institute and a team of highly respected Academics embark on a two year research programme examining:

‘Can an arts based creative engagement intervention following stroke improve psychosocial outcomes?
A feasibility trial of a creative engagement intervention for in-patient rehabilitation.’

The funding was announced in 2012 with the project timetabled to run for the whole of 2013 and 2014.


Further details can be requested from:

Chris Kelly
Projects Co-ordinator/ACES Study Research Manager
Telephone:  01382 835507