Study into benefits of singing proves positive impact on health

August 17, 2012

A pioneering research project to measure the value of singing for older people has revealed a consistently higher measure of health for those involved in community singing programmes.

The findings have also revealed singing groups for older people are cost-effective as a strategy.

In the world’s first randomised controlled trial into the benefits of community singing, conducted by the Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health at Canterbury Christ Church University, the two year research project assessed the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness for older people taking part in singing groups and the impact it has on their physical and .

Professor Stephen Clift, Director of Research at the Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health, said: “Our research has not only cemented previous studies that pointed to an increase in health benefits from community singing programmes, but also demonstrated that singing programmes are a cost-effective method of health promotion against NHS measures for this group of people.

“The design of the study has enabled us to put a value on the results which could ultimately result in substantial cost savings for the NHS and local authority adult services.”

Dr John Rodriguez, Assistant Director of Public Health, NHS Kent and Medway, said: “I’m delighted to see such world-class research in this field helping to provide evidence that singing programmes present a viable additional means to promoting the mental health of .”

Working with two sample groups of 240 volunteers over 60 years old, where one group took part in weekly singing sessions over three months and the other didn’t, the research revealed an increase in the mental health component score on a validated health measure amongst the group of singers. It also revealed significantly reduced anxiety and depression scores on a separate widely used NHS measure amongst the singing group.

The results also pointed towards an improvement in quality of life scores, on a measure used to assess the cost-effectiveness of health interventions, and recognised by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE).

The project was funded by an award of £250,000 from the National Institute for Health Research’s “Research for Patient Benefit” programme and worked closely with third sector organisation Sing For Your Life to facilitate the groups.

The Centre for Health Services Studies at the University of Kent were also part of the research team, leading on trial design and data analysis.

Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health is part of Canterbury Christ Church University and is committed to researching the potential value of music, and other participative arts activities, in the promotion of wellbeing and health of individuals and communities.

Explore further: Mental health service users complete country's first peer broker training course

Related Stories

Mental health service users complete country's first peer broker training course

July 18, 2012
A group of 15 mental health service users have completed the country's first 'peer brokerage' training designed and led by mental health service users.

Two effective treatments for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome / Myalgic Encephalomyelitis also cost-effective

August 2, 2012
(Medical Xpress) -- Two treatments found previously to be the most effective for patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) have now been found to be the most cost-effective treatments according ...

Childhood intelligence linked to long-term sick leave

April 13, 2012
(Medical Xpress) -- Individuals with better cognitive function in childhood are less likely to end up on long-term sick leave in adult life, according to new research by the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College ...

'Weak evidence' to support exercise referrals

November 7, 2011
Research commissioned by the NIHR Health Technology Assessment programme and carried out by research teams from the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry (PCMD) and the Universities of Exeter (Sport and Health Sciences) ...

Recommended for you

Higher manganese levels in children correlate with lower IQ scores, study finds

September 21, 2017
A study led by environmental health researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine finds that children in East Liverpool, Ohio with higher levels of Manganese (Mn) had lower IQ scores. The research appears ...

Researchers see popular herbicide affecting health across generations

September 20, 2017
First, the good news. Washington State University researchers have found that a rat exposed to a popular herbicide while in the womb developed no diseases and showed no apparent health effects aside from lower weight.

One e-cigarette with nicotine leads to adrenaline changes in nonsmokers' hearts

September 20, 2017
A new UCLA study found that healthy nonsmokers experienced increased adrenaline levels in their heart after one electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) with nicotine but there were no increased adrenaline levels when the study ...

Higher levels of fluoride in pregnant woman linked to lower intelligence in their children

September 20, 2017
Fluoride in the urine of pregnant women shows a correlation with lower measures of intelligence in their children, according to University of Toronto researchers who conducted the first study of its kind and size to examine ...

India has avoided 1 million child deaths since 2005, new study concludes

September 19, 2017
India has avoided about 1 million deaths of children under age five since 2005, driven by significant reductions in mortality from pneumonia, diarrhea, tetanus and measles, according to new research published today.

Gulf spill oil dispersants associated with health symptoms in cleanup workers

September 19, 2017
Workers who were likely exposed to dispersants while cleaning up the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill experienced a range of health symptoms including cough and wheeze, and skin and eye irritation, according to scientists ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.