Toolkit and free online learning courses on evaluating arts and creativity programmes for older adults
Arts and Creativity in Later Life

The Institute of Public Health (IPH) has launched an evaluation toolkit and two new online learning courses on how to use evidence to show the benefits of Arts and Creativity in later life.

IPH launched the new resources at a Healthier Ageing through Arts and Creativity webinar today, 25 April, where details of a new evaluation toolkit and online learning pathways were presented by Toby Finch, a member of the ageing team at IPH.

The toolkit - Assessing the Impact of Arts and Creativity Interventions for Older People: A Public Health Evaluation Toolkit – provides a ‘how to’ guide for assessing the impact of arts and creativity interventions for older adults. 

The digital learning pathways - Arts and Creativity: Lessons for Active Ageing and A How to Guide – Evaluation Methods for Arts and Creativity Programmes – were developed by IPH for its Public Health Matters online learning platform. 

The new online courses provide evidence on the benefits of arts and creativity in later life and a step-by-step practical guide, for those designing or delivering programmes, on how to use evaluation methods to show the benefits for older adults. 

The new resources were developed on foot of an evidence review conducted by IPH, which highlighted the need for an evaluation toolkit for the arts and creativity sector to be able to better measure, record and assess the impact of their programmes. 

The 2021 report, Arts and Creativity in Later Life: Implications for Public Health and Older People’, reviewed more than 70 international studies investigating the potential health and wellbeing benefits of dancing, music and singing, visual and creative arts, and drama and theatre and found that arts and creativity can help improve physical, psychological, and social health and wellbeing in older adults. 

The webinar also featured a panel discussion with input from Stephanie McKervill from Arts Care NI; Dominic Campbell from Creative Aging International; and Dr Tara Byrne from Age and Opportunity. 

IPH Director of Ageing Research & Development Professor Roger O’Sullivan, who led the development of the new resources said: “These new resources build on our previous work highlighting the benefits of engaging in group-based arts and creativity in later life, which were shown to improve the physical, psychological, and social health and wellbeing of older adults. This work also identified the need to develop ways of evaluating arts and creativity interventions for older adults and today we are delighted to launch an evaluation toolkit and learning pathways that will provide practical guidance on assessing the value, benefits, and impact of such programmes. 

“These new resources are available, free of charge, on our Public Health Matters platform and will support organisations working with older adults at a community, local, or national level on how to evaluate and measure the impact of their arts and creativity programmes and interventions,” Professor O’Sullivan added.

Evaluation Toolkit
Online learning courses

The following new learning pathways are available on IPH's Public Health Matters online learning platform

  • Arts and Creativity: Lessons for Active Ageing 
  • A How to Guide: Evaluation Methods for Arts and Creativity Programmes.


Watch the recording of the launch webinar

Latest resources

17 May, 2024 - The Institute of Public Health (IPH) has welcomed moves to further tighten access to tobacco products in Ireland and Northern Ireland under progressive measures being considered by the Irish…
2 May, 2024 - Northern Ireland Environment Minister Andrew Muir MLA has today announced his intention to prohibit the sale and supply of single use vapes by April 2025, bringing Northern Ireland in parallel with…
1 May, 2024 - The 2024 How We Age Photography Competition seeks to build on the success of IPH's 2022 competition and will this year focus on the theme of 'How We Age: Working, learning, and volunteering in later…