An evaluation of workplace choir singing amongst Health Service staff in Ireland

Health Promot Int. 2020 Jun 1;35(3):527-534. doi: 10.1093/heapro/daz044.

Abstract

This paper explores the well-being ['well-being' and 'wellbeing' are used interchangeably in the literature. Well-being is used in this paper (except in the reference list where exact wording is maintained)] benefits of participation in a workplace choir for health service staff. A mixed method study, this project combines quantitative measures of work engagement, perceived stress, resilience levels and work absences with qualitative interviews with choir participants. It is the first study of workplace choirs in Ireland and one of very few studies internationally that research health service staff choirs. There is some preliminary evidence of benefits that choir attendance may increase positive perception of workers' mental health as well as effect depression rates. However, evidence is limited quantitatively and difficulties in measuring the health benefits of arts interventions are noted. Qualitative data, however, confirms previous study findings, namely that a workplace choir can promote social connectedness, enjoyment at work and staff engagement. Work place choir was also noted to appeal mainly to a limited demographic of work place staff and people with relatively positive health and well-being. Efforts must be made to engage staff from lower socio-economic backgrounds, diverse cultural backgrounds and male staff in work place health promotion activities, as these groups were found less likely to join a work place choir. Given the low cost and low risk of this activity, and the qualitative benefits reported, it is recommended to continue to develop and evaluate health service workplace choirs.

Keywords: choir; health; health promotion; music; singing; well-being.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Health Services
  • Humans
  • Ireland
  • Male
  • Mental Health / statistics & numerical data*
  • Middle Aged
  • Personnel, Hospital / psychology
  • Qualitative Research
  • Sick Leave / statistics & numerical data
  • Singing*
  • Stress, Psychological
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Workplace / psychology