A UK study has found that group drumming produces significant changes in well-being, including improvements in depression, anxiety and social resilience. Researchers enrolled 45 adults, who were already recipients of mental health services but not receiving antidepressant medications, in a 10 week programme of either weekly 90-minute group drumming sessions or community group social activities (such as quiz nights, women’s institute meetings and book clubs). By week six, the drumming intervention group showed decreases in depression and increased social resilience, while at 10 weeks they reported further improvements in depression alongside significant improvements in
anxiety and mental wellbeing. These changes were maintained at three-month follow-up. The drumming intervention group also saw their immune profile shift from a pro-inflammatory towards an anti-inflammatory response. (Effects of Group. Drumming Interventions on Anxiety, Depression, Social Resilience and Inflammatory Immune Response among Mental Health Service Users. PLoS One. 2016 Mar 14;11(3):e0151136).
Singing in a choir can reduce stress, improve mood and boost levels of immune proteins in people affected by cancer, suggests a study carried out in Wales. A single-arm preliminary study assessed the impact of singing on mood, stress and immune response in 193 people belonging to three populations affected by cancer: carers, bereaved carers and patients. Participants were all regular participants in five choirs across South Wales and took part in one hour of group singing. Before and after singing, visual analogue mood scales, stress scales and, saliva samples were taken. Across all five centres and in all three participant groups, singing was associated with significant reductions in negative affect and increases in positive affect, as well as significant increases in cytokines (including GM-CSF, IL-17, IL-2, IL-4 and sIL-2ra). In addition, singing was associated with reductions in cortisol, beta-endorphin and oxytocin levels. (Singing modulates mood, stress, cortisol, cytokine and neuropeptide activity in cancer patients and carers. ecancermedicalscience, 2016; 10 DOI: 10.3332 / ecancer.2016.631)