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P-3 Enhancing a sense of community: a hospice based choir
  1. Gill Thomas
  1. Princess Alice Hospice, Esher, UK

Abstract

Background When a patient with a love of singing died in the Hospice her family were keen to support the development of a hospice choir. Within 6 months this has created a group of committed singers with a tangible sense of its own community within the hospice.

Compassionate society recognises good end of life care as mutually beneficial to the dying and the community and singing has been found to bring together hospices with their local community with a positive effect on the wellbeing of those involved.

Aim To evaluate the formation of a hospice community choir from the perspective of choir members.

Methods An online survey using a Likert scale on items about the experience of being in the choir and open text questions was sent to 42 people all of whom had attended the choir at least once.

Findings 27 members responded (64% response rate) including staff, patients, bereaved relatives and members of the local community.

Choir members attend for a variety of reasons; bereavement, illness, a love of singing. The evaluation demonstrates a positive impact on participant’s mood, confidence and socialisation and promoted a sense of belonging irrespective of the reason they attend. Bereaved members reported the therapeutic effect of a continued relationship with the hospice and others found the choir to help their confidence in coping and adjusting to difficult times.

Conclusion The choir has developed as part of the hospice community and appear to influence the wellbeing of its members and the relationship with the hospice.

Application to practice: a choir is a novel and innovative way to influence the wellbeing of staff, patients, relatives and the local community. Involvement and performances in our local community help integrate the hospice into the wider community.

The presentation will use videos of the choir and its members.

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