Improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians’ well-being using participatory community singing approach
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There is increasing international interest in the idea that well-being and health are related to resilience. Participative community singing is beneficial for well-being not only in people who are free from health problems, but especially for those whose physical and mental health is compromised. This study examined the development of five Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander singing groups and the benefits relating to promoting resilience and ultimately preventing chronic disease in this population. Mixed methods, including both quantitative and qualitative approaches, were used. Questionnaires were administered to collect data on chronic life stresses, resilience, social support and social connectedness. Focus group interviews were conducted to obtain data on the participants ' and stakeholders ' perceptions of the impact of the singing groups. Multivariate analysis of variance was used to test the effectiveness of the intervention program on improving resilience at both the individual and the community levels. Structural equation modelling was used to analyse the pathways from the benefits gained from the singing program to the prevention of chronic disease. The results suggested that the singing groups served multiple functions, which are underpinned by social ecological resilience mechanisms to promote self-esteem, learning and education and confidence at the individual level, as well as community connectedness, reduction of loneliness and promoting social support from family, community and the social context such as support from community-controlled health services, and ultimately preventing chronic disease.
International Journal of Disability and Human Development
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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health