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Putting our research into practice

Research is key at Tenovus Cancer Care and it drives us to find out how and why our services are effective. Involving cancer patients and the public in our research means we understand it better, helping to make sure we develop support that really works.

The study our Sing with Us choirs are part of is one of the largest ever related to music and health. It’s also the first study to demonstrate the wide-spread immune effects of singing, on people affected by cancer.

This is what the process of doing research into Sing with Us has taught us and how we've used what we've learned.

Research Quote 2

Taking part in research

We've learned that people affected by cancer want to take part in research and they’re
interested in the results. Our choir members want to know if what they're doing is good for them and they feel proud to be part of something which could help others going forward. Research gives people something to participate in and we believe offering people the opportunity to take part in research, is a form of support in itself.

Understanding the science behind the singing

We hear from our choir members every single day how being part of our choirs has helped them, but research gives us the evidence to prove it. And of course our research helps us understand more about why singing is good for you. 

Rosie Dow our Head of Sing with Us says: "Our research has helped us do (and understand what we do) better.  The learning from these studies directly feeds into how we run the choirs, so we can keep improving the support we offer people affected by cancer. For example, research has told us that community is important to our choir members. So over time, we’ve beefed up this element of our choirs, by giving people lots more opportunities to be social. We’ve upped the number of gigs, we’ve set up fundraising groups and we organise regular social events.

Research Quote 1We know that our Sing with Us choirs build members’ confidence and are fun, fulfilling and uplifting. So as a team we've used these elements to create a framework for how the Choir Leaders run rehearsals. By understanding more about the positive effects of our choirs, we’ve learned how to make explicit, all the implicit things that make the choirs successful. We use this to train and assess our Choir Leaders and to monitor rehearsals, to help us know whether we’re doing a good job."

Spreading the word

Research also helps us to tell other people what we already know. We don't want to keep it to ourselves - we want to sing it from the rooftops! We believe it's really important to talk about our research in communities across Wales, so as many people as possible know what we've found.

Research also means that when we talk to doctors, nurses, academics and funders about our research, they can see the science behind singing.

Our Sing with Us choirs are a brilliant example of how research can come full circle to benefit the people we are here for; people with cancer and the people that love them.