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Sidney de Haan Research Centre

Benefits of regular group singing for people with COPD

What we do

Regular singing can help people suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) to manage their breathing difficulties, as well as addressing issues of depression, anxiety and social isolation often associated with this chronic health problem. In the Singing for Better Breathing programme, s4bb.org.uk, groups meet for friendly, weekly singing groups in south London – no singing experience is necessary. COPD is a serious and progressive lung condition which affects an estimated three million people in the UK, for which there is no cure.

The project builds on an earlier study in Kent which demonstrated positive outcomes for people with COPD who participated in community singing. The south London project is assessing whether it can be replicated in an urban area with a different demographic and cultural profile. Singing for Better Breathing is also analysing the cost-effectiveness for the NHS and social care of singing to help manage COPD, and providing support for national take-up.

The possible health benefits of singing are being evaluated by researchers at the Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health, in association with the NHS.

I get breathless when I walk uphill or have to do anything too physical. But singing is not like that, because the more you sing, the more you exercise the lungs and you seem able to do more. At the end of the session I feel a lot stronger for it, and of course, it’s great fun.

Participant

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