Free Content Choral singing and psychological wellbeing: Quantitative and qualitative findings from English choirs in a cross-national survey

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Abstract:

Over 600 choral singers drawn from English choirs completed the WHOQOL-BREF questionnaire to measure physical, psychological, social and environmental wellbeing, and a twelve-item wellbeing and choral singing scale. They also provided accounts of the effects of choral singing on quality of life, wellbeing and physical health in response to open questions. High average scores were found on all WHOQOL-BREF scales, and a high degree of consensus emerged on the positive benefits of choral singing. A significant sex difference was found on the choral singing scale, with women endorsing the wellbeing effects of singing more strongly than men. This finding replicates the earlier result reported by Clift & Hancox (2001) in a pilot study with a single choral society. Low correlations were found between the WHOQOL-BREF psychological wellbeing scale and perceptions of wellbeing associated with singing. However, examination of written accounts to open questions from participants with relatively low psychological wellbeing and strong perceptions of positive benefits associated with choral singing served to identify four categories of significant personal and health challenges. They also revealed six generative mechanisms by which singing may impact on wellbeing and health.

Keywords: WHOQOL-BREF; choral singing; cross-national survey; psychological wellbeing

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/jaah.1.1.19/1

Affiliations: 1: Canterbury Christ Church University. 2: Carl von Ossietzky University. 3: Griffith University.

Publication date: January 1, 2010

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  • The Journal of Applied Arts and Health serves a wide community of artists, researchers, practitioners and policy-makers evidencing the effectiveness of the interdisciplinary use of arts in health and arts for health. It provides a forum for the publication and debate within an interdisciplinary field of arts in healthcare and health promotion. The journal defines 'health' broadly which includes physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, occupational, social and community health.
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