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HEartS Survey 2019: Charting the health, economic, and social impact of the ARTs


Williamon, Aaron et al. (2021), HEartS Survey 2019: Charting the health, economic, and social impact of the ARTs, Dryad, Dataset,


The HEartS Survey 2019 is a cross-sectional nonprobability-based survey of 5,338 adults in the United Kingdom in 2019. It contains data on demographic and socioeconomic information (age, gender, ethnicity, geographic region, educational qualifications, living situation, household income), trends in participatory and receptive engagement with literary, visual, performing, crafts and decorative arts, spending on arts and cultural activities, as well as health and social data such as questions about self-rated health, physical activity, depressive symptoms, wellbeing, loneliness, and social connectedness.


The sample was recruited through an online data collection platform, Qualtrics, between March and August 2019. Data collection quotas were set for gender, age, geographical region, ethnicity, and education to match the UK 2011 Census population profile. A total of 11,861 respondents started the survey. Of these, 1,623 did not consent to participate in the survey and stopped at the consenting process. A further 3,219 respondents were automatically excluded after answering initial sociodemographic questions as the quotas for their characteristics were already reached. A further 969 were excluded due to completing the survey in under four minutes, i.e. speeding through the survey (n = 97) or providing nonsense or abusive responses to open questions (n = 872). Following a complete case analysis and excluding “prefer not to say” responses to gender, education, living status, household income, health conditions, and self-reported health, n=5,338 formed the final study sample. 

List of measures and instruments included:

Demographic and socioeconomic information

  • Where available standardised Census questions were used to collect data on: ethnicity, geographic region, highest educational qualifications, gender, age, and household composition and income

Arts engagement

  • Adapted scale of arts engagement based on Understanding Society and Taking Part survey arts engagement assessment tool measuring engagement in 10 participatory arts activities and 10 receptive arts activities in the last 12 months, followed by questions on whether the engagement occurred mainly alonewith others or alone, or mainly with others
  • Professional work within the arts sector
  • Spending on arts and culture in the last month and predication about future arts spending

Health and social data

  • Self-rated general health item and an item on diagnosis of mental health problems, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and chronic respiratory disease
  • Physical activity scale recording mild, moderate, and vigorous physical activity frequency
  • Centre for Epidemiologic Study Depression scale (CES-D) 8-item short form
  • Mental Health Continuum Short Form 14-item scale
  • UCLA Loneliness Short Form 4-item scale
  • De Jong Gierveld Loneliness Short Form 6-item scale
  • Items assessing: loneliness frequency, loneliness intensity, number of close friends, number of close family members, presence of a partner or spouse, and closeness of this relationship
  • Social Connectedness Revised 15-item scale

See ‘HEartS Survey 2019 Variables’ for further details on variables included. 

Usage notes

In line with Dryad's human subjects data protection rules, some personal data have been removed from this file. Variables for which data have been omitted are marked with an asterisk in ‘HEartS Survey 2019 Variables’.

The sample contains very low levels of non-engagement with the arts (2.57%) and high proportions of people reporting depression (57.04% scored ≥ 3 on CES-D scale) and loneliness (22.91% reporting feeling loneliness “often” or “always”), compared with UK population-levels. 

Correspondence: Aaron Williamon,


Arts and Humanities Research Council, Award: AH/P005888/1