Singing for Lung Health: A systematic review of the literature and consensus statement

Adam Lewis

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    There is growing interest in Singing for Lung Health (SLH), an approach where patients with respiratory disease take part in singing groups, intended to improve their condition. A consensus group was convened in early 2016 to address issues including: the specific features that make SLH distinct from other forms of participation in singing; the existing evidence base via a systematic review; gaps in the evidence base including the need to define value-based outcome measures for sustainable commissioning of SLH; defining the measures needed to evaluate both individuals' responses to SLH and the quality of singing programmes. and core training, expertise and competencies required by singing group leaders to deliver high-quality programmes. A systematic review to establish the extent of the evidence base for SLH was undertaken. Electronic databases, including Pubmed, OVID Medline and Embase, Web of Science, Cochrane central register of controlled trials and PEDro, were used. Six studies were included in the final review. Quantitative data suggest that singing has the potential to improve health-related quality of life, particularly related to physical health, and levels of anxiety without causing significant side effects. There is a significant risk of bias in many of the existing studies with small numbers of subjects overall. Little comparison can be made between studies owing to their heterogeneity in design. Qualitative data indicate that singing is an enjoyable experience for patients, who consistently report that it helps them to cope with their condition better. Larger and longer-term trials are needed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Journalnpj Primary Care Respiratory Medicine
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016


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