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Systematic review: music, singing and wellbeing for adults living with diagnosed conditions

Author(s)

DAYKIN Norma, et al

Publisher(s):

What Works Centre for Wellbeing

Publication year:

2016

A systematic review of wellbeing outcomes of music and singing for adults, encompassing data from 1364 participants with identified health conditions such as stroke, COPD and mental health conditions. The review does not include clinical studies of music and singing, including interventions for patients in hospital, where the focus is on clinical outcomes such as pain management or coping with symptoms or hospitalisation. The evidence points to wellbeing outcomes including reduced depression and anxiety in people of all ages. In relation to adults with adults with chronic conditions such as stroke, COPD and cancer, the studies report reduced stress and improved wellbeing across a range of outcomes. Specifically, the review finds that there is high quality evidence that: targeted, culturally relevant music interventions can decrease depression in nursing students in a college environment; brief music therapy is an effective intervention to support wellbeing of palliative care patients in hospital settings. There is moderate quality evidence that: targeted, culturally relevant music interventions, including playing a musical instrument and singing, can decrease depression in older people with chronic conditions in residential and community settings; participants report a wide range of wellbeing benefits from singing including relaxation, distraction, reduction in anxiety, spiritual uplifting and improvements in mood, emotional wellbeing, confidence, enjoyment and a ‘feel good factor’; participation in a music project can raise participants’ awareness of the significance of music in their life. This in turn can have a positive effect on awareness of health and quality of life and can encourage behaviour change. (Edited publisher abstract)


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