Participatory arts for older adults: A review of benefits and challenges

Tony Noice, Helga Noice, Arthur F. Kramer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article reviews the scientific literature on the enhancement of healthy aging in older adults through active participation in the arts. Methodologies and conclusions are described for studies of dance, expressive writing, music (singing and instrumental), theatre arts, and visual arts including documentation of mental/physical improvements in memory, creativity, problem solving, everyday competence, reaction time, balance/gait, and quality of life. In addition to these gains in measures of successful aging, the article also provides (in a Supplementary Appendix) some selected examples of arts engagement for remedial purposes. Finally, it offers suggestions for expanding inquiry into this underinvestigated corner of aging research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)741-753
Number of pages13
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014


  • Arts
  • Cognition
  • Health benefits
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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