Background Interpersonal skills such as teamwork and communication are essential to good health care.
Methods: Four reference databases were searched using relevant keyword combinations in order to examine how the visual and performing arts have been used to develop teamwork and communication skills among health professionals and what the outcomes were. Reference list checking was also conducted in order to identify other relevant articles not captured in the initial search strategy.
Results: Many of the studies that we reviewed revealed that after participation in the arts, participants felt positively about the experience, had a greater awareness of the importance of teamwork and communication skills in their professional practice, and reported general improvements in these skills.
Conclusions: While the initial results of this review seem promising, a concerted effort to conduct more methodologically sound studies on various art forms and their effect on the development of health professionals’ interpersonal skills is required.