This study aimed to investigate the effects of weekly singing 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.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00500526.