Evaluation of BreathStars

Author(s):*Listed Alphabetically
Bowden, Long T

Year of Publication:

University of Salford


This report evaluates BreathStars, a weekly singing group which was established for children with asthma aged 7-12 years old living in Little Hulton and North Walkden (Salford). This initiative was funded by Salford Clinical Commissioning Group as part of its Little Pot of Innovation Fund 2017 and Awards for All (Big Lottery Fund).

The evaluation was carried out by the University of Salford, using a mixed-methods approach, including the Childhood Asthma Control Test (CACT), with the following objectives:

• to understand how the project makes a difference to children, families and communities.
• to understand any measurable differences, especially regarding time off school, visits to GP or accident & emergency department, and ability to enjoy a normal life (such as participating in games and physical activity).
• to highlight any unintended consequences (positive or negative), such as the knowledge, understanding and support (or not) of family members and the wider community.

Since this was a small project (in terms of numbers of participants), the emphasis was on learning from the initiative: the feasibility of the approach, the nature of the sample and the data that might be produced, and unpredictable factors which should be considered in future initiatives.

The report notes that, due to problems with recruitment (and retention) and patchy completion of measurements, the quantitative data was less useful than had been hoped for. Qualitative feedback was, however, positive:

• those who participated found it to be a pleasant and fulfilling experience.
• improvement in asthmatic control was reported by children, siblings and parents, notably reduction in the need for inhalers, less coughing, and less disturbance during the night.
• wider community impacts were reported – for example, the ability and willingness to help other children with asthma following the gaining of new knowledge and understanding through participating in the choir.

Evidence Type: Non-Randomised Evaluation

Main Focus: Wellbeing / Quality of life

Research Purpose: Outcome Evaluation

Context: Community

Participant Group: Children (0-15)

Art Forms: Music

APA Citation:

Long, T., Bowden, L. (2018). Evaluation of BreathStars. Salford: University of Salford.