Around 1 in 5 people diagnosed with cancer in the UK take part in a clinical trial.
A study looking at choir singing as a way to improve people’s wellbeing
Coronavirus and cancer
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This study looked at the benefit of taking part in a choir for people with cancer, and those affected by cancer in some way.
It was open for people to join from 2016 to 2017, and several articles have been published in medical journals.
More about this trial
When you have cancer, you may have problems related to the cancer or its treatment. This can impact on your personal wellbeing.
When this trial was done, we already knew from research that singing can:
- improve mood
- reduce the amount of stress
- improve the
Researchers in this study wanted to find out if singing in a choir can improve the wellbeing of people with cancer, or those who have been affected by cancer.
Summary of results
The research team found that singing in a choir could help improve the mental health of people with cancer or those affected by cancer.
About this study
This study was for people who:
- had been diagnosed with cancer
- had lost loved ones
- were, or had been, caring for someone with cancer
- were working with people with cancer
Some people taking part joined weekly choir sessions, and some people didn’t. They filled out questionnaires about their mental health and well being before, during and after the choir sessions. And the research team interviewed some people to find out more about how joining a choir had affected them.
The people taking part found that the weekly choir sessions were a positive experience where they could get extra support.
The main findings were that joining a choir could improve people’s:
- ability to cope
- self esteem
- self belief
- anxiety levels
- general mental health
The research team concluded that singing as part of a choir could help improve the mental health and well being of people with cancer, or those affected by cancer.
There is more information about this research in the references below.
Please note, these articles have been written for the medical and research community. They may not be in plain English.
How does the process of group singing impact on people affected by cancer? A grounded theory study.
K Warren, and others
BMJ Open, 2019. Volume 9, Issue 1, Article e023261
Group singing in bereavement: effects on mental health, self-efficacy, self-esteem and well-being
D Fancourt and others
MJ Supportive & Palliative Care online, 2019. Article 2018-001642
The experience and perceived impact of group singing for men living with cancer: A phenomenological study
K Warren and others
Psychology of Music, 2019. Volume 47, Issue 6, pages 874 – 889.
Psychosocial singing interventions for the mental health and well-being of family carers of patients with cancer: results from a longitudinal controlled study
D Fancourt and others
BMJ Open, 2019. Volume 9, Issue 8, pages, Article e026995.
Where this information comes from
We have based this summary on the information in the published articles above, which have been reviewed by independent specialists (
How to join a clinical trial
Dr Daisy Fancourt
London Cancer Alliance (LCA)
Royal College of Music London
Imperial College London
The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR)
The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust