Evaluating the potential of group singing to enhance the well-being of older people
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Aim: To evaluate the effect of a singing program developed specifically for older community-dwelling people on measures of health and well-being. Method: An eight-week singing program was developed and evaluated using standardised measures of health and well-being, measures designed to examine specific singing program outcomes, and semi-structured interviews. Participants aged 70 years and older were recruited through a home care service provider (n = 17) and an advertisement in a community newspaper (n = 19). Results: Standard outcome measures indicated that the program had little effect on health and well-being. However, study-specific measures indicated that many participants had positive gains. Those in the home care group required more assistance to attend and continue in the program than those in the general community. Participants reported that the community-based singing facilitator was essential to the program's success. Conclusion: Well-structured community-based singing programs have the potential to impact positively upon the well-being of older people, but program viability depends on support with recruitment, transport and funding.
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