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Wolfson Institute of Population Health

Thomas Maltby


PhD student



PhD title: For whom does Arts on Prescription work and why?

I am a PhD student on the Wellcome Trust ‘Health Data in Practice’ programme based at the Unit for Psychological Medicine in the Centre for Psychiatry and Mental Health, beginning my doctorate in October 2023. My project is focussed on exploring for whom Arts on Prescription (a type of social prescribing wherein service users are referred to arts based community groups) works and why. This will involve three phases: first a scoping review to gather the current evidence available for Arts on Prescription programmes, secondly an analysis of data for outcomes in social prescribing delineated by demographics, and thirdly a qualitative study exploring service user and arts facilitator’s experiences.

I hold a first class integrated Master’s degree in Natural Sciences specialising in Neuroscience, and an MRes in ‘Health Data in Practice’ where I developed my social research methods. I also briefly worked as a data analyst for BACP before undertaking my doctorate.

My experiences in research include running a Behavioural Psychology study analysing changes in spatial memory precision over time, a Cognitive Neuroscience study analysing the temporal sequence of basic visual feature processing using fMRI and MEG methods, and a discourse analysis of the ‘Prevention Concordat for Better Mental Health’.

My fascination with the topics of epistemology and ontology within Neuroscience lead me to develop an interest in social research methods and understanding alternate paradigms for mental health treatment, such as arts-based methods. I am also passionate about critical perspectives on mental health and the discourses surrounding the field, and open to collaborating on projects around these topics!

Supervisory team: Dr Maria Turri, Prof. Claudia Cooper, Dr Victoria Tzortziou Brown


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