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Singing for Lung Health: a qualitative assessment of a British Lung Foundation programme for group leaders
  1. Adam Lewis,
  2. Phoene Cave and
  3. Nicholas S Hopkinson
  1. NIHR Respiratory Disease, Biomedical Research Unit at the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust and Imperial College London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Adam Lewis; adam.lewis{at}


Introduction Singing for Lung Health (SLH) groups are an increasingly popular intervention for people with respiratory disease. There are limited data as to how these groups should be developed and run. We aimed to evaluate the experience of singing leaders both to assess the training provided by the British Lung Foundation (BLF) and to provide information to guide future development of programmes.

Methods A convenience sample of 15 leaders who had received BLF SLH training participated in the BLF service evaluation. Fifteen singing groups were observed, and singing leader interviews and questionnaires were collected. Inductive themes from the qualitative data were the primary outcome. The content of observed singing groups was also rated against the training leaders had received.

Results Singing leaders valued the BLF training but felt that a significant level of expertise is required before joining. Singing leaders often found setting up groups challenging and some found clinician support beneficial. There were important technical aspects of running a lung health group including issues around content, for example, choice of repertoire to suit breathing pattern, and delivery, for example, pace, rhythm and management of group dynamics. Leaders said that group participants reported physical health improvements such as reduced breathlessness on activity. The content and delivery of singing classes observed displayed a good level of fidelity, suggesting that SLH training is effective.

Conclusion The experience of the leaders highlights the requirements, support and technical skills needed to run SLH groups, which have features distinct from generic community singing groups.

  • Asthma
  • Bronchiectasis
  • Emphysema
  • Interstitial fibrosis

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  • Contributors AL, PC and NSH designed the service evaluation, semistructured interview schedules and questionnaires. AL performed the semistructured interviews. AL and PC analysed the data. AL drafted the initial manuscript, and all authors worked on the final revision. AL agrees to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

  • Funding This work has been funded by a £25 000 grant from the British Lung Foundation.

  • Competing interests AL reports, other than the British Lung Foundation (BLF) service evaluation funding, that he has received consultation fees for providing content and delivery of Singing for Lung Health Training since the completion of the service evaluation. PC reports, other than the BLF service evaluation funding, that she has created and delivered all Singing for Lung Health training including the training delivered to participants in this service evaluation. NH declares no competing interests.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement Other British Lung Foundation Singing for Lung Health service evaluation data have been written in an internal report to the British Lung Foundation.

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