There is increasing evidence that Singing for Lung Health (SLH) can improve general health and wellbeing, especially in those with a lung condition, by teaching a better understanding of breath control through the use of the voice. The first hospital based SLH programme in the UK began at the Royal Brompton Hospital in September 2008 and has grown in popularity since. A recent systematic review of SLH reports that it may improve health related quality of life for people with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease . This evidence is based on a small number of randomised controlled trials with low participant numbers and currently there is insufficient data to suggest SLH improves HRQOL in other respiratory diseases. More robust large scale randomised controlled trials are needed.
Nevertheless SLH is exploding in popularity across the UK and there are now over 80 groups in the UK that are running as singing groups for people with respiratory disease. 26 of the groups currently running have received the British Lung Foundation (BLF) SLH training and start-up bursaries. Adam Lewis, a respiratory specialist physiotherapist, is part of a team completing a service evaluation into the British Lung Foundation funded Singing for Lung Health SLH training. Adam Lewis says ‘the service evaluation aims to explore to what extent the training delivered by the BLF is being used effectively in singing groups run around the country. Over the last year we have been observing singing groups around the country, interviewing singing leaders and asking singing participants to complete patient reported outcome measures at baseline, 3 months and 6 months.' Data from this study is being analysed at the moment and will be published later in the year.
Get involved! Finding the nearest Singing for Lung Health group is easy. Simply go to www.blf.org.uk/support-in-your-area and type in your postcode. Many groups would welcome clinician engagement so please ask to observe a group and promote to your patients.