Katey Warran

Name: Dr Katey Warran

Research Areas: Arts and Health, Arts and Dementia, Sociology of the Arts, Cultural Policy

Department: Edinburgh Centre for Research on the Experience of Dementia (ECRED), University of Edinburgh and Department of Behavioural Science and Health, University College London (UCL)

E-mail:  kwarran@ed.ac.uk


I am an arts and health researcher and social scientist, with a particular interest in researching group engagement in the context of performing arts activities. My role at the Edinburgh Centre for Research on the Experience of Dementia (ECRED) centres on developing a new programme of research focused on artistic and creative engagement with and for those living with dementia.

Alongside my post at ECRED, I am also a Research Fellow in Social Science at University College London (UCL) and Deputy Director of the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Arts & Health, based at UCL. I have worked on a range of different arts and health research projects, including exploring dance for young people with anxiety (as Principal Investigator, funded by the UKRI), singing for those with postnatal depression (with the WHO), singing for those affected by cancer (at the Royal College of Music), and performing arts activities for hospital patients. I am also interested in the application of research to policy and have authored reports for the DCMS and Arts Council England. I am a Trustee for Arts Culture Health and Wellbeing Scotland (ACHWS) and a member of the Research Committee at Scottish Ballet.

I completed my PhD in Sociology at the University of Edinburgh (AHRC funded), but I see myself as an interdisciplinary researcher who draws upon a range of disciplines in my work to examine the complex relationship between the arts and health, including social psychology, performance science, implementation science, and philosophy, to give a few examples.

Research Interests

I am interested in the role of the arts in improving health and wellbeing. I draw on a holistic conception of health which includes the importance of meaning-making and social experiences as key components to flourishing and quality of life. I am interested in interdisciplinary approaches, and I am keen to bring together different sectors and fields to work collaboratively to understand the complexity of the interrelationships between the arts and our health.

Academic publications

Warran K, Burton A, Fancourt D. (2022) What are the active ingredients of ‘arts in health’ activities? Development of the INgredients iN ArTs in hEalth (INNATE) Framework. Wellcome Open Research. https://doi.org/10.12688/wellcomeopenres.17414.1

May T, Warran K, Burton A, Fancourt D. (2022) Socioeconomic and Psychosocial Adversities Experienced by Freelancers Working in the UK Cultural Sector During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Qualitative Study. Frontiers in Psychology. DOI:10.3389/FPSYG.2021.672694

Fancourt, D., & Warran, K. (2020) Singing for Cancer: Implications from Psychoneuroimmunology. In Routledge Companion to Interdisciplinary Research in Singing: Volume III Well-being. Routledge.

Fancourt, D., & Warran, K. (2020). A logic model for the effects of singing on health. In Routledge Companion to Interdisciplinary Research in Singing: Volume III Well-being. Routledge.

Warran, K., Fancourt, D., Perkins, R. (2019) The experience and perceived impact of group singing for men living with cancer: A phenomenological study. Psychology of Music. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0305735619854526

Warran K, Fancourt D, Wiseman T. (2019) How does the process of group singing impact upon people affected by cancer? A grounded theory study. BMJ Open https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/9/1/e023261

Fancourt, D., Warran, K., Finn, S., & Wiseman, T. (2019). Psychosocial singing interventions for the mental health and well-being of family carers of patients with cancer: results from a longitudinal controlled study. BMJ Open https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2018-026995

Fancourt, D., Finn, S., Warran, K., Wiseman, T. (2019) Group singing in bereavement: effects on mental health, self-efficacy, self-esteem and well-being. BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care https://spcare.bmj.com/content/early/2019/06/26/bmjspcare-2018-001642

Warran, K. (2019). Book review: Christina Scharff. Gender, Subjectivity, and Cultural Work: The Classical Music Profession. Psychology of Music https://doi.org/10.1177/0305735619830316

Policy publications and reports

Bradbury, A., Warran, K., Mak, HW, Fancourt, D. (2021) The Role of the Arts during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Arts Council England https://www.artscouncil.org.uk/publication/role-arts-during-covid-19-pandemic

Fancourt, D., Warran, K., Aughterson, H. (2020). Evidence summary for policy: The role of arts in improving health and wellbeing. Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/evidence-summary-for-policy-the-role-of-arts-in-improving-health-and-wellbeing

Warran, K & Ward, J. (2020) ‘The National Women and Children’s Creative Health Handbook: Wellbeing by Design’ for Improving Me – A Women and Children’s Partnership. NHS Health Education England.

Warran, K & Welch, G. (2019) Research Evidence: Supporting older people through orchestral music. In From Bingo to Bartok: Creative and Innovative Approaches to involving older people with Orchestras. Orchestras Live / City of London Sinfonia. (pp.40-44) http://www.orchestraslive.org.uk/news/bingo-to-bartok/

Scholarships and funding

Principal Investigator Dance/Connect, funded by the UKRI Loneliness & Social Isolation in Mental Health Research Network 2020-21

Co-Investigator #KindnessByPost, funded by the UKRI Loneliness & Social Isolation in Mental Health Research Network 2020-21

SGSAH Cohort Development Fund: Conference funding 2019/2020

AHRC SGSAH Creative Economy Studentship 2017-2020

SGSAH Cohort Development Fund: Doctoral Training Events 2018

Institute for Academic Development Action Fund 2018

Elmley Foundation Small Grant Award 2015-2017

Elmley Foundation Small Grant Award 2011-2012

Lionel Bart Foundation Bursary 2010-2011