Singing classes for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a randomized controlled trialReport as inadecuate

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BMC Pulmonary Medicine

, 12:69

First Online: 13 November 2012Received: 15 May 2012Accepted: 07 November 2012


BackgroundThere is some evidence that singing lessons may be of benefit to patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease COPD. It is not clear how much of this benefit is specific to singing and how much relates to the classes being a group activity that addresses social isolation.

MethodsPatients were randomised to either singing classes or a film club for eight weeks. Response was assessed quantitatively through health status questionnaires, measures of breathing control, exercise capacity and physical activity and qualitatively, through structured interviews with a clinical psychologist.

ResultsThe singing group n=13 meanSD FEV1 44.414.4% predicted and film group n=11 FEV1 63.525.5%predicted did not differ significantly at baseline. There was a significant difference between the response of the physical component score of the SF-36, favouring the singing group +12.919.0 vs -0.2511.9 p=0.02, but no difference in response of the mental component score of the SF-36, breathing control measures, exercise capacity or daily physical activity. In the qualitative element, positive effects on physical well-being were reported in the singing group but not the film group.

ConclusionSinging classes have an impact on health status distinct from that achieved simply by taking part in a group activity.

Trials registrationRegistration Current Controlled Trials - ISRCTN17544114

KeywordsCOPD Singing Qualitative Randomised controlled trial Rehabilitation Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1471-2466-12-69 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

An erratum to this article is available at

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Author: Victoria M Lord - Victoria J Hume - Julia L Kelly - Phoene Cave - Judith Silver - Maya Waldman - Chris White - Cayley S


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