Table 2

Description of overarching themes and subthemes, summarising the process and impact of group singing for people affected by cancer

ThemeSubthemeDescription
1. Building resilience1.1 CopingChoir supports coping with cancer and its effects.
1.2 Building confidenceChoir builds confidence and empowers members.
1.3 Part of lifeChoir has ‘lasting effects’ beyond the rehearsal itself, providing wider behavioural and social change.
2. Social support2.1 Group support (unspoken)Choir provides a form of ‘pastoral’, group support that is often ‘unspoken’.
2.2 A fellowshipChoir provides a ‘fellowship with other people’, and a caring network.
2.3 Social experienceChoir is a social experience that creates friendship and provides social support.
2.4 InclusiveChoir is inclusive and open to all.
2.5 OrganicChoir grows organically and is ‘never static’.
3. Psychological dimensions3.1 EmotionalChoir impacts on mood and provides an experience that is ‘emotional in a good way’.
3.2 Positive experienceChoir is an uplifting and positive experience that is fun, enjoyable and a ‘nice kind of release’.
3.3. HolisticChoir activates the whole body, connecting the psychological and the physical.
3.4 Identity formationChoir provides an opportunity to stand there ‘as me’ and gives ‘me time’.
4. Process issues4.1 Musical skillsChoir members felt that they attained musical skills via a balance of challenging and fun.
4.2 Choir leaderThe choir leader is someone inspirational who guides, is positive and contributes to improved well-being.
4.3 Choir logisticsChoir takes place at a good time in the week and the resources are good.
4.4 Choice of repertoireThere were mixed responses to repertoire with, on the whole, it being viewed as positive and ‘uplifting’.