Community singing groups for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: participant perspectives

Skingley, A., Clift, S. M., Hurley, S., Price, S. and Stephens, L. (2018) Community singing groups for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: participant perspectives. Perspectives in Public Health, 138 (1). pp. 66-75. ISSN 1757-9139.

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Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a major public health issue which is irreversible and progressive, but previous research suggests that singing may have beneficial effects. The aim of this study was to establish the views of participants with COPD taking part in a singing for better breathing programme.

This was a descriptive qualitative study nested within a single-cohort feasibility study which included measures of lung function and wellbeing. Participants (n=37) were interviewed following a community singing programme that ran over ten months in South East England.

Findings support those from previous studies regarding the impact of singing on respiratory wellbeing. These included: the teaching on breath control, relaxation and the breathing exercises; singing as a means to deflect attention away from breathing problems, leading to increased activity levels; and the mutual support for respiratory problems. Beyond the impact on breathing, the singing was also seen as fun, and provided friendship and a ‘feel-good’ factor which led to motivation to participate in further activities. For some it was the highlight of the week, and singing together in a group was felt to be central to the benefits experienced. Findings are compared with the quantitative measures within the same study.

The majority of participants reported improvements in respiratory symptoms as well as mental and social wellbeing following the programme. The study contributes to the evidence base in supporting and highlighting the consistently positive experiences of a large sample of participants, despite variable outcomes in clinical measures.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: COPD; pulmonary disease; respiratory disease; singing groups; participant interview; qualitative research
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Divisions: Faculty of Health and Wellbeing > Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Ann Skingley
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2017 11:35
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2018 18:16

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00