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Further evidence that singing fosters mental health and wellbeing: the West Kent and Medway project

Stephen Clift (Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health, Canterbury Christ Church University, Folkestone, UK)
Sharon Manship (Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health, Canterbury Christ Church University, Folkestone, UK)
Lizzi Stephens (Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health, Canterbury Christ Church University, Folkestone, UK)

Mental Health and Social Inclusion

ISSN: 2042-8308

Article publication date: 13 February 2017

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Abstract

Purpose

Clift and Morrison (2011) report that weekly singing over eight months for people with enduring mental health issues led to clinically important reductions in mental distress. The purpose of this paper is to test the robustness of the earlier findings.

Design/methodology/approach

Four community singing groups for people with mental health issues ran weekly from November 2014 to the end of 2015. Evaluation place over a six-month period using two validated questionnaires: the short Clinical Outcomes in Routine Evaluation (CORE-10) questionnaire, and the Warwick Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (WEMWBS).

Findings

In all, 26 participants completed baseline and follow-up questionnaires. CORE-10 scores were significantly reduced, and WEMWBS scores significantly increased. Comparisons with the earlier study found a similar pattern of improvements on CORE items that are part of the “problems” sub-scale in the full CORE questionnaire. There was also evidence from both studies of participants showing clinically important improvements in CORE-10 scores.

Research limitations/implications

The main limitations of the study are a small sample size and the lack of a randomised control group.

Originality/value

No attempts have been made previously to directly test the transferability of a singing for health model to a new geographical area and to evaluate outcomes using the same validated measure.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Groups for the funding to support this project and the evaluation. The authors would also like to thank Vicky Tovey, Ivan Rudd and Jess Mookherjee from the Kent County Council (KCC) Public Health team for their advice and guidance. For further details of acknowledgements see Clift et al. (2015).

Citation

Clift, S., Manship, S. and Stephens, L. (2017), "Further evidence that singing fosters mental health and wellbeing: the West Kent and Medway project", Mental Health and Social Inclusion, Vol. 21 No. 1, pp. 53-62. https://doi.org/10.1108/MHSI-11-2016-0034

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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