About the Knowledge bank for culture and health


The knowledge bank was originally developed as part of a three-year (2009–2011) joint project on culture and health co-funded by the Nordic Culture Fund, the Swedish Arts Council, Region Skåne, the Skåne Association of Local Authorities, Region Zealand and the Norwegian Ministry of Health and Care Services. In 2014, it was taken a step further after a mapping project on culture and health conducted by Region Skåne on behalf of the Nordic Council of Ministers.

The purpose of the knowledge bank is to enhance research, education and practice in relation to culture and health, and to encourage the exchange of experiences and best practices within and between the Nordic countries and other parts of the world.

This introduction is also available in Finnish, Icelandic and Scandinavian. Otherwise, all of the information and links are in the original language.

At present, Region Skåne/Culture Skåne are responsible for the knowledge bank, but it is not yet clear how it will be carried forward from 2015 onwards.


The importance of culture

Nowadays, it is generally accepted that culture and health are linked, and that culture is important for society in general and for the individual. Good examples abound – a growing research base shows that art and cultural experiences actively contribute to good health, wellbeing, faster rehabilitation, participation and a sense of belonging.

The population is ageing, and more and more people are suffering from mental illness and lifestyle diseases caused by the demands and stresses of the modern world. This places increased strain on society. New methods and new non-traditional partnerships are needed to meet these challenges, and to maintain the Nordic welfare model.

At the same time, although perspectives related to culture and health are considered highly relevant and important, it must be stressed that these endeavours only provide part of the answer to questions about what welfare will look like in the future.

More about the knowledge bank

The knowledge bank is a database of links to online material – e.g. articles, dissertations and other types of texts, as well as media such as video and radio programmes.

The material is freely accessible at no charge, except in exceptional circumstances (e.g. scientific articles, access to which often incurs a charge). In these cases, the link will be to the article’s abstract (i.e. a summary), with an option to pay for and download the whole article.

There are also links to reviews and articles about literature in the field. This serves to spread knowledge of the existence of the books concerned and who publishes them. In cases where literature is freely available in full, a direct link is provided.

The knowledge bank has just over 500 links. Each link has a title, a short description, one or more categories and at least one keyword describing the content.

The bank does not include links to commercial companies that provide culture and health services. This is a deliberate limitation. The aim is to focus on research and literature in the field, not to support individual companies.

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Users should be aware that the links and the short introductory descriptions are not selected and summarised by researchers in the respective fields. The knowledge bank was created by an information specialist along with colleagues working with culture and health for Region Skåne/Culture Skåne.

The knowledge bank has huge potential for new partnerships between researchers and experts.