Heritage in Hospitals: An investigation of the therapeutic and enrichment potential of object handling in hospitals and other healthcare organisations

Project start date: 2008/12 Project end date: 2011/06
How does museum object handling affect wellbeing and recovery? Are patients in healthcare environments an appropriate audience for museums? Can the impact of handling sessions on patient wellbeing be measured? UCL Museums & Collections and University College London Hospitals have set out to answer these questions in the research project Heritage in Hospitals. With project partners, we are conducting research which for the first time will investigate the effect of handling museum objects on hospital patients’ wellbeing. The project is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and will continue until 2011. The research is taking place in a range of healthcare contexts including several wards in University College Hospital, partner hospitals (e.g. Prospect Park Psychiatric Hospital in reading), care homes and partner museums (including: The British Museum, Oxford University Museums Service, Reading Museums Service). Museum handling sessions are being carried out using a variety of objects, initially from the broad ranging UCL Collections and partner museum’s collections. The effect on patient wellbeing is measured and recorded using quantitative scales and qualitative research techniques in order to address the above research questions. An artist in residence is employed to explore the creative role of museum object handling with patients and will result in two sire specific installation at UCL Hospital and an on line exhibition in the form of a microsite.
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Funding sources: 
Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
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Digital resource created:  
Website and exhbition microsite (the latter is currently under development).
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Institutions affiliated with this project: 

UK HE institutions involved:
University College London


Metadata on this arts-humanities.net record
Author(s) of recordAnna Winterbottom
TitleHeritage in Hospitals: An investigation of the therapeutic and enrichment potential of object handling in hospitals and other healthcare organisations
Record created2011-06-02
Record updated2011-06-02 11:44
URL of recordhttp://www.arts-humanities.net/node/4321
Citation of recordAnna Winterbottom: Heritage in Hospitals: An investigation of the therapeutic and enrichment potential of object handling in hospitals and other healthcare organisations. <http://www.arts-humanities.net/node/4321> created: 2011-06-02, last updated 2011-06-02 11:44
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