Singing is an increasingly popular therapy for patients with lung disorders like COPD, inspiring programs such as the British Lung Foundation’s (BLF) Singing for Lung Health (SLH) program. But as a relatively new therapy, evidence-based standards have yet to be widely adopted by practitioners. Dr Adam Lewis, a respiratory specialist with Imperial College in London, recently spoke about his plan to evaluate singing programs in the UK.

“This service evaluation is needed because there has been an explosion of singing groups around the UK which are being catered for people who have respiratory conditions. However, you don’t need any qualification to be a singing leader. To what extent these non-BLF associated groups are appropriate or effective as a whole is unclear. As part of the evaluation we are visiting groups that have not been led by BLF trained leaders in order to learn what other groups include, and whether the BLF training would be valuable to a larger number of practitioners around the country. Moreover, once the nature, content and structure of SLH can be agreed upon with some evidence that it provides benefit, future larger scale respiratory clinical trials could be designed to build on a small evidence base that singing may be an effective therapy for improving patients’ quality of life and lung function.

There has been a lot of qualitative work with patients in the past which has been overwhelmingly positive regarding the benefits of SLH, this evaluation will build on this knowledge.”

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