Therapeutic Singing as an Adjunct for Pulmonary Rehabilitation Participants With COPD: Outcomes of a Feasibility Study
In spite of optimized medical management, many individuals living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) experi- ence distressing and disabling symptoms such as breathlessness and poor quality of life. Novel interventions, such as therapeutic singing, hold promise of ameliorating these inhibiting symptoms. This feasibility study compared the outcomes of an 8-week therapeutic singing program conducted by an accredited music therapist for 14 individuals with advanced COPD who attended a pulmonary rehabilitation program targeted to address symptoms with 5 individuals receiving usual care. While the program was enthusiastically and positively endorsed by participants, we did not find improvements in health-related quality of life, exercise capacity, or perceptions of illness for participants in the singing program compared to those receiving usual care. Further studies on optimal duration and intensity of therapeutic singing programs, as well as evaluation of psychological and quality of life specif- ically related to social interaction, are needed to build the evidence-based practices related to such programs.