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Evaluation of arts-based interventions to improve awareness of selected hygiene and sanitation issues in slums of Ahmedabad, India

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Slum dwellers have limited access to various services that form the foundation of good health. Thus, there is a need to improve their awareness of health and hygiene issues. This article is based on an assessment of arts-based participatory theatre interventions that aimed at improving health awareness among the slum dwellers of Ahmedabad. A two-phase quasi-experimental research involved measuring the target population’s knowledge ‘before’ the interventions of a pre-determined set of seven performances and repeating the same measurement ‘after’ it. The measurement involved surveys of 600 slum dwellers in two slums, one of which received interventions. An improvement was observed in knowledge pertaining to reasons for illnesses, as well as knowledge about safe drinking water and mosquito-breeding sites. The health campaign showed statistically significant improvement among sources of information for the benefits of hand washing and mosquito control. The three parameters of sources of information also point to ‘health campaign’ by a nongovernmental organization (NGO). This further endorses the effectiveness of the interventions. This research is a contribution in response to the growing need for evidence of the impact of performing arts on public health. Based on positive results, it is recommended that such efforts can be scaled up for health education and awareness purposes.
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Keywords: art-based interventions; awareness; evaluation; health; hygiene; knowledge

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Indian Institute of Public Health Gandhinagar

Publication date: June 1, 2016

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  • The Journal of Applied Arts and Health serves a wide community of artists, researchers, practitioners and policy-makers evidencing the effectiveness of the interdisciplinary use of arts in health and arts for health. It provides a forum for the publication and debate within an interdisciplinary field of arts in healthcare and health promotion. The journal defines 'health' broadly which includes physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, occupational, social and community health.
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