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Effects of singing classes on pulmonary function and quality of life of COPD patients

Authors Gimenes Bonilha A, Onofre F, Vieira ML, Prado M, Baddini-Martinez J

Published 2 December 2008 Volume 2009:4 Pages 1—8


Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Amanda Gimenes Bonilha1, Fernanda Onofre2, Maria Lucia Vieira1, Maria Yuka Almeida Prado2, José Antônio Baddini Martinez1

1Internal Medicine Department, Medical School of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo, Brazil; 2Music Department, School of Arts and Communications, University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo, Brazil Trial registered at NCT 00500526

Abstract: This study aimed to investigate the effects of weekly singings classes on pulmonary function parameters and quality of life (QoL) of COPD patients. Forty-three patients were randomized to weekly classes of singing practice, or handcraft work. They performed spirometry and completed maximal respiratory pressure measurements, evaluations of dyspnea, and the Saint George’s Respiratory Questionnaire, before and after 24 training classes. A functional evaluation, immediately after 10 minutes of singing practice, was also performed at the end of the study. Fifteen subjects completed the study in each group. In comparison to controls the singing group exhibited transitory elevations on the dyspnea Borg scale (p = 0.02), and inspiratory capacity (p = 0.01), and decreases of expiratory reserve volume (p = 0.03), just after a short session of singing. There was a significant difference on changes of maximal expiratory pressures in the comparison between groups at the end of training. While the control group showed deterioration of maximal expiratory pressure, the singing group exhibited a small improvement (p = 0.05). Both groups showed significant improvements of QoL in within group comparisons. We have concluded that singing classes are a well tolerated activity for selected subjects with COPD. Regular practice of singing may improve QoL, and preserve the maximal expiratory pressure of these patients.

Keywords: COPD; pulmonary function tests; breathing exercises

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