Breaking News
May 3, 2019 - Vaping and Smoking May Signal Greater Motivation to Quit
May 3, 2019 - Dementia looks different in brains of Hispanics
May 3, 2019 - Short-Staffed Nursing Homes See Drop In Medicare Ratings
May 3, 2019 - Study of teens with eating disorders explores how substance users differ from non-substance users
May 3, 2019 - Scientists develop new video game that may help in the study of Alzheimer’s
May 3, 2019 - Arc Bio introduces Galileo Pathogen Solution product line at ASM Clinical Virology Symposium
May 3, 2019 - Cornell University study uncovers relationship between starch digestion gene and gut bacteria
May 3, 2019 - How to Safely Use Glucose Meters and Test Strips for Diabetes
May 3, 2019 - Anti-inflammatory drugs ineffective for prevention of Alzheimer’s disease
May 3, 2019 - Study tracks Pennsylvania’s oil and gas waste-disposal practices
May 3, 2019 - Creating a better radiation diagnostic test for astronauts
May 3, 2019 - Vegans are often deficient in these four nutrients
May 3, 2019 - PPDC announces seed grants to develop medical devices for children
May 3, 2019 - Study maps out the frequency and impact of water polo head injuries
May 3, 2019 - Research on Reddit identifies risks associated with unproven treatments for opioid addiction
May 3, 2019 - Good smells may help ease tobacco cravings
May 3, 2019 - Medical financial hardship found to be very common among people in the United States
May 3, 2019 - Researchers develop multimodal system for personalized post-stroke rehabilitation
May 3, 2019 - Study shows significant mortality benefit with CABG over percutaneous coronary intervention
May 3, 2019 - Will gene-editing of human embryos ever be justifiable?
May 3, 2019 - FDA Approves Dengvaxia (dengue vaccine) for the Prevention of Dengue Disease in Endemic Regions
May 3, 2019 - Why Tonsillitis Keeps Coming Back
May 3, 2019 - Fighting the opioid epidemic with data
May 3, 2019 - Maggot sausages may soon be a reality
May 3, 2019 - Deletion of ATDC gene prevents development of pancreatic cancer in mice
May 2, 2019 - Targeted Therapy Promising for Rare Hematologic Cancer
May 2, 2019 - Alzheimer’s disease is a ‘double-prion disorder,’ study shows
May 2, 2019 - Reservoir bugs: How one bacterial menace makes its home in the human stomach
May 2, 2019 - Clinical, Admin Staff From Cardiology Get Sneak Peek at Epic
May 2, 2019 - Depression increases hospital use and mortality in children
May 2, 2019 - Vicon and NOC support CURE International to create first gait lab in Ethiopia
May 2, 2019 - Researchers use 3D printer to make paper organs
May 2, 2019 - Viral infection in utero associated with behavioral abnormalities in offspring
May 2, 2019 - U.S. Teen Opioid Deaths Soaring
May 2, 2019 - Opioid distribution data should be public
May 2, 2019 - In the Spotlight: “I’m learning every single day”
May 2, 2019 - 2019 Schaefer Scholars Announced
May 2, 2019 - Podcast: KHN’s ‘What The Health?’ Bye-Bye, ACA, And Hello ‘Medicare-For-All’?
May 2, 2019 - Study describes new viral molecular evasion mechanism used by cytomegalovirus
May 2, 2019 - SLU study suggests a more equitable way for Medicare reimbursement
May 2, 2019 - Scientists discover first gene involved in lower urinary tract obstruction
May 2, 2019 - Researchers identify 34 genes associated with increased risk of ovarian cancer
May 2, 2019 - Many low-income infants receive formula in the first few days of life, finds study
May 2, 2019 - Global study finds high success rate for hip and knee replacements
May 2, 2019 - Taking depression seriously: What is it?
May 2, 2019 - With Head Injuries Mounting, Will Cities Put Their Feet Down On E-Scooters?
May 2, 2019 - Scientists develop small fluorophores for tracking metabolites in living cells
May 2, 2019 - Study casts new light into how mothers’ and babies’ genes influence birth weight
May 2, 2019 - Researchers uncover new brain mechanisms regulating body weight
May 2, 2019 - Organ-on-chip systems offered to Asia-Pacific regions by Sydney’s AXT
May 2, 2019 - Adoption of new rules drops readmission penalties against safety net hospitals
May 2, 2019 - Kids and teens who consume zero-calorie sweetened beverages do not save calories
May 2, 2019 - Improved procedure for cancer-related erectile dysfunction
May 2, 2019 - Hormone may improve social behavior in autism
May 2, 2019 - Alzheimer’s disease may be caused by infectious proteins called prions
May 2, 2019 - Even Doctors Can’t Navigate Our ‘Broken Health Care System’
May 2, 2019 - Study looks at the impact on criminal persistence of head injuries
May 2, 2019 - Honey ‘as high in sugars as table sugar’
May 2, 2019 - Innovations to U.S. food system could help consumers in choosing healthy foods
May 2, 2019 - FDA Approves Mavyret (glecaprevir and pibrentasvir) as First Treatment for All Genotypes of Hepatitis C in Pediatric Patients
May 2, 2019 - Women underreport prevalence and intensity of their own snoring
May 2, 2019 - Concussion summit focuses on science behind brain injury
May 2, 2019 - Booker’s Argument For Environmental Justice Stays Within The Lines
May 2, 2019 - Cornell research explains increased metastatic cancer risk in diabetics
May 2, 2019 - Mount Sinai study provides fresh insights into cellular pathways that cause cancer
May 2, 2019 - Researchers to study link between prenatal pesticide exposures and childhood ADHD
May 2, 2019 - CoGEN Congress 2019: Speakers’ overviews
May 2, 2019 - A new strategy for managing diabetic macular edema in people with good vision
May 2, 2019 - Sagent Pharmaceuticals Issues Voluntary Nationwide Recall of Ketorolac Tromethamine Injection, USP, 60mg/2mL (30mg per mL) Due to Lack of Sterility Assurance
May 2, 2019 - Screen time associated with behavioral problems in preschoolers
May 2, 2019 - Hormone reduces social impairment in kids with autism | News Center
May 2, 2019 - Researchers synthesize peroxidase-mimicking nanozyme with low cost and superior catalytic activity
May 2, 2019 - Study results of a potential drug to treat Type 2 diabetes in children announced
May 2, 2019 - Multigene test helps doctors to make effective treatment decisions for breast cancer patients
May 2, 2019 - UNC School of Medicine initiative providing unique care to dementia patients
May 2, 2019 - Nestlé Health Science and VHP join forces to launch innovative COPES program for cancer patients
May 2, 2019 - Study examines how our brain generates consciousness and loses it during anesthesia
May 2, 2019 - Transition Support Program May Aid Young Adults With Type 1 Diabetes
May 2, 2019 - Study shows how neutrophils exacerbate atherosclerosis by inducing smooth muscle-cell death
May 2, 2019 - Research reveals complexity of how we make decisions
Community choirs for older adults reduce loneliness and increase interest in life

Community choirs for older adults reduce loneliness and increase interest in life

An innovative San Francisco program of community choirs for older adults found that singing in a choir reduced loneliness and increased interest in life, but did not improve cognition or physical function, according to a study by researchers at UC San Francisco.

The program — Community of Voices — was a collaboration between UCSF and the nonprofit San Francisco Community Music Center (CMC), as well as the San Francisco Department of Aging and Adult Services (DAAS), that aimed to assess whether art-based social interventions could substantively improve quality of life for older adults.

“Our current health and social systems are not prepared to help support our rapidly increasing population of older adults,” said lead author Julene Johnson, PhD, associate dean for research and professor in the UCSF School of Nursing. “There’s a high percentage who experience loneliness and social isolation, and depression also is relatively high. There’s a need to develop novel approaches to help older adults stay engaged in the community and also stay connected.”

The nearly 50 million Americans aged 65 and older represented 15.2 percent of the total U.S. population in 2016, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and are increasingly diverse, with nearly 22 percent currently from racial/ethnic minority backgrounds — increasing to almost a third by 2030 — and at increased risk for poor health outcomes. Previous studies have shown that social isolation and depression can exacerbate poor health.

A potential novel approach is to engage them in the arts, as they can be offered in the community, are relatively low cost to deliver, are engaging, and can be culturally tailored. One option is community choirs, as about 32.5 million U.S. adults regularly sing in choirs.

“Thanks to the vision and leadership of UCSF and Julene Johnson, we now have evidence-based research to support the value of choirs for older adults,” said Sylvia Sherman, CMC program director.

In the Nov. 9, 2018, Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences study, 12 federally supported senior centers in San Francisco were randomized into a weekly group choir program designed to engage adults age 60 and older cognitively, physically and socially. Over a three-year period (February 2012 to August 2015), 390 English- and Spanish-speaking participants were enrolled into either a group that started choirs immediately (208 members), or another group that initiated choirs six months later (182 members). Two-thirds of the participants were from diverse backgrounds, 20 percent reported financial hardship, and 60 percent had two or more chronic medical conditions.

The Community of Voices choirs were led by professional choir directors and accompanists. They identified music repertoire that was culturally tailored for each site, appropriate for older adults with various singing abilities, and challenging enough to facilitate growth and mastery over time. The 90-minute choir sessions included informal public performances.

During the study, singers completed memory, coordination and balance tests, and completed questionnaires about their emotional well-being. Researchers assessed outcomes at six months, along with the health care costs.

Overall, the researchers found that older adults who sang in a choir for six months experienced significant improvements in loneliness and interest in life. However, no substantial group differences occurred in the cognitive or physical outcomes or for health care costs. The overall six-month retention rate was 92 percent.

Each of the 12 choirs created for the UCSF trial program continues to sing as part of CMC’s Older Adult Choir Program.

“We were a little surprised not to see improvements in cognitive and physical function, especially because the literature, although small, suggested there should be improvements,” Johnson said. “However, our study is one of the first randomized controlled trials of a choir intervention, whereas the others were cross-sectional or did not randomly assign the participants.”

More research is needed on how choirs improve well-being and the potential long-term health impacts, said Johnson, who served on a 25-person panel of the National Institutes of Health and John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on music and the brain, with results published in March 2018 in Neuron.

“Besides being one of the first arts-based randomized trials for older adults, our trial represents a new direction in translational research designed to address health disparities, in which interventions are designed and evaluated in community settings from the outset,” Johnson said. “These study methods can be a model for future trials to engage and retain diverse older adults in research.”

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles