Singing for adults with respiratory Illness: a systematic review and evaluation of a community programme

PhD Thesis

Epsley, C. 2018. Singing for adults with respiratory Illness: a systematic review and evaluation of a community programme. PhD Thesis Canterbury Christ Church University Faculty of Health and Wellbeing
AuthorsEpsley, C.
TypePhD Thesis
Qualification namePhD

Background: Respiratory disorders manifest themselves with chest symptoms including shortness of breath and decline in lung function. An innovative cost-effective therapy is needed and there is a growing body of evidence to suggest that singing in a group may have health and wellbeing benefits for these patients.

Method: The key objectives of this research were to review current knowledge and to evaluate the potential impact of group singing as an intervention for health and wellbeing. The research is divided into three components which aimed to:
- Review, synthesise and consolidate current research in the area of singing for COPD.
- Evaluate the impact of group singing on health and wellbeing for a group of COPD patients
- Evaluate the usability of specially designed resources for home practice for respiratory patients.

Results: A broad systematic review showed that availability of high quality evidence that singing for COPD improves physical health, dyspnoea or respiratory-specific quality of life is still very limited. This is due to the low number of high quality studies and small sample sizes. The study reported here found statistically significant positive changes in both total mean Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (WEMWBS) and COPD Assessment Test (CAT) scores for twenty-one COPD participants of two community singing groups over a twelve-week period. These changes were maintained up to thirty-weeks for sixteen participants that continued. The research also successfully piloted the use of resources designed for self management.

Conclusion: There are promising findings from this and other studies on the impact of singing for COPD on health and wellbeing. However, the outcomes of this research are consistent with those outlined in recent reviews and it is recommended that larger randomised controlled trials with longer durations are conducted.

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Publication process dates
Deposited26 Feb 2019
Output statusUnpublished
Accepted author manuscript
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