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Choral Singing and Quality of Life: Australian data from the


'Cross-National Research on the Effects of Choral Singing' project ... Singing as an activity has been shown to carry benefits for health and well ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Choral Singing and Quality of Life: Australian data from the

Choral Singing and Quality of LifeAustralian
data from the Cross-National Research on the
Effects of Choral Singing project
  • Donald Stewart1, Jing Sun1 Stephen Clift2,
    Grenville Hancox2,
  • Ian Morrison2, Bärbel Hess2, Gunter Kreutz3
  • 1. School of Public Health, Griffith University,
  • 2. Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts and
  • Canterbury Christ Church University, United
  • 3. Royal Northern College of Music, United Kingdom

  • Singing as an activity has been shown to carry
    benefits for health and well-being (Cohen, 2006
    and 2007 Hillman, 2002, Hays and Minichiello,
  • Such benefits reach across the whole of the
    lifespan and with people of diverse social
    backgrounds and health status (Clift and Hancox,
    2001, Bailey and Davidson, 2005, Clift, Mackenzie
    and Bushell, 2006 Bamford, 2006).
  • Singing has been found to be a powerful way to
    enhance health, particularly relating to stress
    reduction (Ruud, 2006).
  • The direct links between choral singing and
    quality of life have not been systematically
    directly addressed in Australia

Study Aims
  • To explore the music making and singing effect on
    quality of life and general health.
  • Part of a larger study including choirs in the UK
    and Germany (Overall 21 choirs 1124 singers)

  • A cross-sectional study design 2007
  • A convenience sampling approach Members of five
    choirs located in South-East Queensland,
    Australia, were voluntarily recruited into the
  • 166 participants (69 response rate)

  • The Effects of Choral Singing questionnaire
    consists of 27 items
  • (Clift Hancox, 2007).
  • A summed scale using the ten most highly loading
    items was used
  • This scale demonstrated high internal consistency
    with a Cronbachs alpha of 0.93.
  • WHOQOL-BREF instrument comprises 26 items
  • physical domain, ?0.82
  • psychological domain, ?0.80,
  • social domain, ?0.68,
  • environmental domain, ?0.80
  • (Murphy, Herrman, Hawthorne, Pinzone,
    Evert, 2000)

Results (1) demographic factors
Sample Characteristics (n166)
Variable M (SD) n ()
Age 52.1 (15.9)
Gender Male 55 (33.3)
Female 110 (66.7)
Education Secondary 27 (16.6)
College and Tertiary 23 (14.1)
Postgraduate 113 (69.3)
Employment Full-time 60 (36.4)
Part time 56 (33.9)
Retired 45 (27.3)
Unemployed 4 (2.4)
Variable n ()
Single 33 (20.0)
Separated/divorced 13 (7.9)
Widowed 14 (8.5)
Married/Partnership 105 (63.6)
Religious participation
Yes 82 (49.7)
No 83 (50.3)
Results (2) Difference between the study sample
and Australian normative sample in quality of
life, health status and choral singing effect
1 Physical health - 4.6
2 Psychological health - 2.5
3 Social functioning - 2.8
4 Environment 3.1
5 Rating of Quality of life 1.1
6 Satisfaction of health 4.1
Note. p lt 0.05, p lt 0.01, p lt 0.001
Results (3)
  • The regression model choral singing has
    significant effect on the psychological domain of
    quality of life for a bivariate model, F (1, 141)
    5.21, p lt 0.01, and a multivariate model F (1,
    141) 2.34, p lt 0.01.
  • For the choral singing effect variable, its
    coefficient .42, p lt 0.05.
  • Single marital status and religious participation
    were significant predictors for social
  • Age was found to be a significant predictor for
    perception of environmental support. Participants
    who were older reported experiencing better
    environmental support.

Results (4) Some qualitative comments
  • I had a full-on panic attack last week. Tried
    some swimming exercises which made it worse
    then sang in the car for half an hour. By the end
    my heart rate and breathing had returned to
    normal, neck and shoulders relaxed, stomach
    unknotted. Generally find it unwinds and relaxes
    me. Always feel looser after rehearsals.
    Female, 38.
  • Singing improves my mood and my health. I have
    to be on guard constantly against my medical
    condition (anxiety and depression) Female, 49
  • (Choral singing is) especially valuable to
    people in their later years when they have time
    on their hands. I think choral singing is a ()
    worthwhile activity to fill some of this time and
    give a real sense of achievement at a time when
    one might be feeling ones usefulness is
    declining. Female, 60

  • No significant effects of choral singing on
    physical health and social life were found but
  • happy as a clam because we sing
  • Choral singing plays an important role in
    psychological health as a component of the
    quality of life
  • Age is an important predictor for the perception
    of environment support

Limitations and Implications
  • It was a convenience sample of people who had
    come together for a specific performance outcome
    and not randomised
  • The major community-based choirs in Queensland
    participated in the study
  • Singing as a means to promote connectedness and
    social and emotional well-being in the community