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Title: An investigation of the role of music for health promotion in everyday life
Author: French, Tara L.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5372 9241
Awarding Body: Glasgow Caledonian University
Current Institution: Glasgow Caledonian University
Date of Award: 2014
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The escalating costs associated with healthcare provision and the ever increasing aging population are posing concerns among healthcare providers in the UK. As a result, there is a growing need to shift the focus of healthcare delivery from 'treatment' to 'prevention' and to develop cost effective, health promoting strategies which empower patients and increase health awareness. A growing body of literature within the field of music psychology has emerged which provides evidence to support the positive benefits of music for health and wellbeing (MacDonald et al 2012). Research to date has largely focussed on the therapeutic aspects of music for clinical populations in relation to health and wellbeing and little is known about the role of music for preventative healthcare. This thesis presents the findings of a series of research studies which aimed to investigate the potential role of music for the promotion and . maintenance of health among the general population. A mixed methods approach was employed to investigate the role of music for health promotion. The research involved a series of studies employing both quantitative and qualitative methodologies. The series of studies included a questionnaire which explored the use of music among the general population focussing upon the patterns, functions and reasons for listening to music. The study also investigated the relationship between music, health and wellbeing through employing the use of the WHOQOL-BREF and Psychological Wellbeing scale. The findings revealed a frequent occurrence of music in the everyday lives of individuals affording physical, psychological, social and environmental gains. The findings suggest that music listening may be beneficial to overall quality of life and a number of constructs of wellbeing. The findings also provide evidence for the role of music in promoting health through regulation of everyday life practices. Building upon the findings of the questionnaire, semi-structured interviews with older adults were conducted which investigated the role of music in later life. Thematic analysis of 10 semi-structured interviews with older adults revealed overarching themes of the multifunctional nature of music in providing connection, association, a source of enjoyment and entertainment, and a background to everyday life. Finally, a mixed methods, applied project investigated the effects of a 9 month community choir project upon health and wellbeing. The study provided evidence of the value of community choir participation for health promotion by studying the subjective experiences of choir participants utilising questionnaires, interviews and an online diary. The findings provided an overview of the expectations of participants, their engagement with music and role and importance of music in everyday life. The findings gained from this study reveal the holistic contribution of singing to health and wellbeing through psychological, social and cognitive benefits. The support for choral participation in enhancing mood, promoting relaxation and reducing feelings of loneliness provides evidence for the use of choral singing as a health promoting tool which could be used to prevent conditions such as anxiety and feelings of depression. The findings from this study suggest that choral singing can target conditions such as these and may prevent or alleviate symptoms associated with mood affecting disorders. Through the social support network of the choir, individuals can also gain a sense of support and shared group identity which can contribute positively to preventing ill health. This research series highlights the importance and positive impact of music in providing benefits for health and wellbeing. The results provide evidence of the positive effects of music through both listening and active music participation and suggest that music is beneficial for the maintenance and promotion of health. Implications for healthcare provision and policy are discussed concerning the potential of role of music in primary and secondary prevention. Future research directions utilising an ecological model of music and health are proposed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available