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Published on November 16, 2018

Announcement of results of a clinical study unique in canada on the effects of art on seniors

Study initiated by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the RUIS McGill Centre of Excellence on Longevity and the Jewish General Hospital shows positive impact of cultural mediation on seniors’ health

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA), the RUIS McGill Centre of Excellence on Longevity, and theJewish General Hospital are today presenting the findings of the A-Health clinical study to assess the effects of participatory cultural mediation activities on the health and quality of life of healthy people aged 65 and over living in the Montreal community.

The study, which was launched in December 2017 under the auspices of the MMFA’s Art and Health Committee, ran for close to a year and involved 150 participants. It served to quantify and qualify changes in the health status of participants in art workshops offered at the MMFA as part of its “Thursdays at the Museum” program, created with support from the MMFA Foundation and Réseau Sélection. The study was co-funded by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts Foundation, thanks to the support of Mina Drimaropoulos, and the Jewish General Hospital Foundation, thanks to support from the family of Louise and André B. Charron.

The participants’ well-being, quality of life and health status were assessed over two three-month sessions, based on 18 self-administered questionnaires per participant. The observed health benefits surpassed the expectations of those involved in the study. The results show that participation in a cultural mediation activity such as painting or drawing not only improves well-being and quality of life, but also enhances the health of healthy people aged 65 and over living in the community.

This pilot-project was conducted at the MMFA between December 2017 and September 2018. The study was led by Dr. Olivier Beauchet, Professor of geriatrics at McGill University, holder of the Dr. Joseph Kaufmann Chair in Geriatric Medicine and Director of the Centre of Excellence on Longevity. A total of 150 people aged 65 to 94 took part in this research program, with an average age of 71.6.

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Photo: Thursdays at the Museum, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Photo © Mikaël Theimer (MKL)

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