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How does the process of group singing impact on people affected by cancer? A grounded theory study
  1. Katey Warran1,
  2. Daisy Fancourt2,
  3. Theresa Wiseman3,4
  1. 1 School of Social and Political Science, The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  2. 2 Department of Behavioural Science and Health, University College London, London, UK
  3. 3 The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
  4. 4 Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Daisy Fancourt; d.fancourt{at}


Objective This study aimed to build an understanding of how the process of singing impacts on those who are affected by cancer, including patients, staff, carers and those who have been bereaved.

Design A qualitative study, informed by a grounded theory approach.

Setting and participants Patients with cancer, staff, carers and bereaved who had participated for a minimum of 6 weeks in one of two choirs for people affected by cancer.

Methods 31 participants took part in Focus Group Interviews lasting between 45 min and an hour, and 1 participant had a face-to-face interview.

Findings Four overarching themes emerged from the iterative analysis procedure. The overarching themes were: building resilience, social support, psychological dimensions and process issues. Following further analyses, a theoretical model was created to depict how building resilience underpins the findings.

Conclusion Group singing may be a suitable intervention for building resilience in those affected by cancer via an interaction between the experience and impact of the choir.

  • oncology
  • qualitative research
  • mental health
  • adult oncology
  • therapeutics

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  • Contributors The research team collaboratively designed the study. TW and DF led on the supervision of the project. KW led on the data collection with support and guidance from DF and TW. TW and KW conducted independent analysis which was discussed at team meetings, resulting in the creation of the model presented, drawn by KW. KW produced the draft of the report which was refined following detailed input from TW and DF.

  • Funding This research was funded by Tenovus Cancer Care with additional support from the Arts and Humanities Research Council [AH/P005888/1].

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Ethics approval The NHS Research Ethics Service approved the study.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement The data used in this research were collected subject to the informed consent of the participants. Unfortunately, the dataset is not publicly available as participants only consented to the research team having access to the raw dataset.

  • Correction notice Since this paper was first published online the open access licence has been changed from CC-BY-NC to CC-BY.