Evidence-based guidance to assist volunteers working with at-risk children in a school context.
Int J Evid Based Healthc. 2017 Nov 14;:
Authors: De Buck E, Vandekerckhove P, Hannes K
AIM: One of the activities of the Belgian Red Cross is the 'Bridging the Gap' project, in collaboration with local schools. In this project, volunteers join the teaching staff to improve personal development goals in at-risk children with poor performance. The aim of this study was to develop evidence-based guidance for the volunteers to help them choose the right didactical approach for supporting these children.
METHOD: Systematic literature searches were performed in three bibliographic databases (the Campbell Library, MEDLINE and ERIC) to find the effectiveness of 16 different didactical activities. In addition, during a consensus meeting with relevant stakeholders, we discussed the applicability and meaningfulness of these activities for volunteers in the school context.
RESULTS: We identified 38 relevant studies out of 12 056 references. Evidence of effectiveness was available for the following activities: book reading, road-safety education, number games, puzzle making, singing, block-building activities, reading poetry, computer-assisted instruction, storyboards, role play and a library visit. Based on the discussion with stakeholders, we developed evidence-based guidance with recommendations and suggestions to assist volunteers in their task.
CONCLUSION: This evidence-based guidance was developed to help volunteers working in a school context to choose which didactical activities to carry out with at-risk children, with the aim of improving the children's personal development. The list of didactical approaches we promote is not exhaustive and will most likely continue to grow, as many activities are currently not (well) described in scientific studies. In addition, contextual factors that may play a role in the success or failure of certain didactical activities are also subject to change.This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives License 4.0 (CCBY-NC-ND), where it is permissible to download and share the work provided it is properly cited. The work cannot be changed in any way or used commercially without permission from the journal. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0.
PMID: 29140876 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
Exploring the perceived health benefits of singing in a choir: an international cross-sectional mixed-methods study.
Perspect Public Health. 2017 Nov 01;:1757913917739652
Authors: Moss H, Lynch J, O'Donoghue J
AIM: This mixed-methods exploratory study investigates the perceived health benefits of singing in a choir from an international sample of choristers.
METHOD: An online questionnaire including demographic information, 28 quantitative statements and two qualitative questions relating to the perceived health benefits of singing in a choir was distributed via email and social media over a period of 4 months to a sample of 1,779 choristers. Basic descriptives and comparisons between subgroups of the sample are presented along with thematic analysis of qualitative comments.
RESULTS: Basic descriptives suggest an overwhelmingly positive response. Females scored significantly higher than males on physical benefits, social benefits and emotional benefits. Professional singers reported significantly more physical, social and spiritual benefits than amateur singers. Bias may be present in these findings as the results were entirely self-reported by people who already sing in choirs. Qualitative thematic analysis identified six key themes which may counter this bias by providing deeper understanding of the perceived benefits for choir singers. These include social connection, physical and physiological benefits (specifically respiratory health), cognitive stimulation, mental health, enjoyment and transcendence.
CONCLUSION: Choral singing elicits a positive response in the chorister across a plethora of domains. This research confirms previous findings on the health benefits of singing but offers evidence from the largest sample of singers to date. However, results are based on self-perceptions of choristers, and findings are, therefore, limited. Results may be used as a base on which to develop further research in this area. It also provides confirmatory evidence to support choral singing as a means of improving wellbeing in many populations, including but not limited to workplaces, schools, nursing homes, communities and churches.
PMID: 29137545 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]