Heterogeneity in Danish lung choirs and their singing leaders: delivery, approach, and experiences: a survey-based study

BMJ Open. 2020 Nov 30;10(11):e041700. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-041700.

Abstract

Objectives: Singing is considered a beneficial leisure time intervention for people with respiratory diseases, and lung choirs have gained increasing attention. However, there is no available guideline on preferred methodology, and hence, outcomes, delivery, and benefits are unclear. The present study investigated for the first time ever emerged delivery, approach, and experiences in Danish lung choirs and their singing leaders, hypothesising the array to be heterogeneous, without disease-specific approach, and a challenging field to navigate for the singing leaders.

Setting: An online survey comprising 25 questions was performed individually, May 2017, in Denmark.

Participants: Current singing leaders of Danish lung choirs, identified by hand searches on the internet. In total, 33 singing leaders in formal and informal settings were identified and 20 (67%) responded.

Primary and secondary outcome measures: Distribution in content, delivery, and approach; level of disease-specific knowledge and modification; experience of challenges and benefits. Quantitative variables were counted, and an inductive content analysis approach was used for the qualitative study component.

Results: The lung choirs were heterogeneous concerning setting, duration, and content. The approach was traditional without disease-specific content or physical activity. Most singing leaders held various academic degrees in music, but lacked skills in lung diseases. However, they experienced lung choirs as a highly meaningful activity, and reported that participants benefited both musically, psychosocially, and physically. Singing leaders were enthusiastic regarding potentials in the 'arts-and-health' cross-field and experienced an expansion of their role and overall purpose, professionally as well as personally. However, they also experienced insecurity, inadequacy, and isolation, and requested methodological guidelines, formal support, and peer network.

Conclusion: Danish lung choirs are led without any disease-specific guideline or methodological approach. Further studies are needed to develop and distribute a preferred methodological approach.

Trial registration number: This study is linked to clinical trial number NCT03280355 and was performed prior to data collection and results of the clinical trial.

Keywords: chronic airways disease; rehabilitation medicine; thoracic medicine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Denmark
  • Humans
  • Lung
  • Quality of Life
  • Singing*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT03280355