Singing for Better Breathing: Findings from the Lambeth & Southwark Singing & COPD Project

Authors: Stephen Clift & Sonia Price



Over the last eight years there has been a growth of interest in the potential value of participation in singing groups for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (CODP) and other respiratory illnesses. This is shown by the increasing number of singing for breathing groups established across the UK over this period. The British Lung Foundation have taken a leading role in promoting this activity through their ‘Singing for Lung Health’ programme. A limited number of small-scale research studies have assessed the benefits of singing for people with COPD and other lung conditions. These include three randomized controlled trials, one in Brazil, and two conducted at the Royal Brompton Hospital in London. Further studies have been carried out in Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the USA. There is limited evidence that singing improves lung function and exercise capacity, but qualitative feedback from participants has been highly positive. Testimonies point to singing having substantial subjective benefits for physical, psychological and social wellbeing, and in enabling people with COPD to better manage their lung condition.

Published by: Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health, Canterbury Christchurch University

Publication Date: 2017

Country: New Zealand

Language: English

Type: Reports/Papers