Recently, A. David Napier and colleagues published their executive summary from The Lancet Commission on Culture and Health (The Lancet, Volume 384, Issue 9954, pp. 1607-1639, 1 November 2014). They write:
“This Commission is the first ever detailed appraisal of the role of culture in health, bringing together voices from different fields, including anthropologists, social scientists, and medics. Experts review health practices as they relate to culture, identify and assess pressing issues, and recommend lines of research that are needed to address pressing issues and emerging needs. The Commission examines three overlapping domains of culture and health: cultural competence, health inequalities, and communities of care. With reference to these domains, the Commission shows how inseparable health is from cultural perceptions of wellbeing.”
In the short time since the release of the report, four related initiatives have emerged from the publication. The first is an endorsement from the WHO, which the commission intends to take up strategically in January 2015. The second is an initiative to sponsor an NHS event to present and discuss the Commission’s 12 key findings and related recommendations. Third is to build a platform for the production of outputs such as white papers on each of their 12 findings. And fourth, to launch the first European Forum on Culture and Health in Ascona, Switzerland at the end of November––there, they will design a European strategy to guarantee sustained attention to the needs identifies in the report.
Culture and Health Commission Members:
Image credit: Heather Lewis, Pay-per-view, 2011 (no coin), (McColl Center for Visual Arts) Mirrors, coin meter, light