Frequently Asked Questions

Why are you doing this study?

The number of older adults is rapidly increasing throughout the world.  There is a pressing need to develop novel, sustainable, and cost-effective approaches for promoting health and well-being  for older adults. Singing in a community choir may be a unique approach to help promote health of older adults.

Who can join the study?

We are recruiting both men and women age 60 or older who would like to sing in a community choir that meets once a week for one year. No prior singing experience is necessary. Participants can speak either English or Spanish.

How many participants are in the study?

Approximately 450 older adults from 12 different senior centers will participate in the Community of Voices study.

What do I have to do to participate in the Community of Voices study?

Participants will be asked to sing in a community choir for one year at one of the  participating senior centers.  The choir will meet once a week for 90 minutes (with a break) and perform in several informal concerts.  Professional choir directors from the San Francisco Community Music Center will lead the choirs.

Participants will also be asked to complete 3-4 interviews about their health and well-being (that will take approximately 90 minutes).  These interviews, which will be done by UCSF staff in either English or Spanish, will take place before participants start the choir program, with additional assessments after 6 and 12 months.  All information collected in the interviews will be confidential.

What is involved in the study interviews?

The study interviews will be conducted before the choir starts and then again after 6 and 12 months. The interviews include questions about health and well-being. The interview will also assess other aspects, such as balance and walking speed. All information collected during the interviews will be kept private.

What is involved in the study interviews?

The study interviews will be conducted before the choir starts and then again after 6 and 12 months. The interviews include questions about health and well-being. The interview will also assess other aspects, such as balance and walking speed. All information collected during the interviews will be kept private.

How long will the study last?

Participation in the study will last about 12-18 months at each Senior Center.

What sites are participating?

  • Mission Neighborhood Center
  • Centro Latino de San Francisco
  • Bayview Hunters Point/Bayview Opera House
  • Western Addition Senior Citizens’ Service Center
  • OMI Senior Center
  • Golden Gate Senior Services – Richmond
  • 30th Street Senior Center
  • Armstrong Senior Housing
  • Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center
  • San Francisco Senior Center (Aquatic)
  • Centro Latino Gene Friend SOMA Center
  • Castro Senior Center

Will it cost me anything to participate in the study?

No, there are no costs to participate in the study.

Will I be paid to take part in this study?

Participants will be paid $105 for completing 3 interviews in the study.

Can I stop being in this study?

Yes.  Participants can decide to stop at any time.  Just tell the study researcher or staff person if you wish to stop being in the study.

How do I enroll in the study?

Call Rachel at  415-476-5903  (habla español) to see if you qualify for the study.

What if I have more questions about the study?

Call Rachel at 415-476-5903 (habla español) or the study Principal Investigator Dr. Julene Johnson at 415-476-1106.