Skip to main content
Kent Academic Repository

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

Meadows, Steve and Clift, Stephen M. and Skingley, Ann and Page, Sonia and Stephens, Lizzi and Hurley, Sadie and Dickinson, John W. and Levai, Irisz and Jackson, Anna and Sullivan, Roisin and Wren, Natalie and McDaid, David and Park, A-la and Azhar, Saleem and Baxter, Noel and Rozenthuler, Guillermo and Shah, Shilpa (2017) Singing for Better Breathing: Findings from the Lambeth & Southwark Singing & COPD Project. Project report. Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts & Health: Canterbury Christ Church University, Kent, UK (KAR id:62003)


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 randomised 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.

The current study in Lambeth and Southwark, South London, was based on earlier research conducted in East

Kent, UK. Morrison et al. (2013) established and evaluated a network of six community singing groups for

people with COPD which ran over the course of ten months. Seventy-two people with COPD were followed up

over this time and assessed using validated questionnaires, with St. George’s Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ)

as the primary outcome measure. Spirometry was also used to assess lung function. Significant improvements

were found on the total and impact scores from the SGRQ, and participants also improved in their lung function.

Item Type: Reports and Papers (Project report)
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > M Music
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine
R Medicine > RZ Other systems of medicine
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Natural Sciences > Sport and Exercise Sciences
Depositing User: Steve Meadows
Date Deposited: 08 Jun 2017 14:04 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 13:46 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Meadows, Steve.

Creator's ORCID:
CReDIT Contributor Roles:

Dickinson, John W..

Creator's ORCID:
CReDIT Contributor Roles:
  • Depositors only (login required):

Total unique views for this document in KAR since July 2020. For more details click on the image.