Dr. Potts Attends NEA/NIH Workshop on Arts Interventions in the Healthcare of the Elderly

Daniel C. Potts, M.D. participated in a workshop hosted by the National Academy of Sciences titled “Workshop on Research Gaps and Opportunities for Exploring the Relationship of the Arts to Health and Well-being in Older Adults” on September 14 in Washington, D.C.. The conference was convened in collaboration between the National Endowment for the Arts, Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging, National Research Council, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education and Committee on National Statistics to begin to assess the research gaps existent in arts-based healthcare interventions in the elderly.  This is part of a larger national initiative to further the use of the arts for quality of life enrichment across the lifespan in every segment of society. This initiative demonstrates an emerging priority of these organizations to fund and facilitate high-quality research in this regard, so that programs may be identified and developed which may be easily replicated for more large-scale effects.

 At the conference, state-of-science reports were given from leaders in the field, and representing neurobiologists, geriatricians, gerontologists, neurologists, environmental design experts, art therapists, music therapists, bibliotherapists, drama therapists, dance and movement therapists, policy makers, statisticians, and representatives from several government agencies who are invested in this effort.  Discussions on method and design, models for successful programming, analysis on cost-effectiveness, and ideas for collaboration among different disciplines were put forth. 

This exciting conference gave the opportunity for participants to interact and give feedback, and signifies a new and important day for furthering arts interventions for quality of life for elderly Americans.