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A pilot investigation of quality of life and lung function following choral singing in cancer survivors and their carers

Gale, Nichola, Enright, Stephanie, Reagon, Carly, Lewis, Ian and Van Deursen, Robert William Martin 2012. A pilot investigation of quality of life and lung function following choral singing in cancer survivors and their carers. ecancermedicalscience 6 , 261. 10.3332/ecancer.2012.261

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Abstract

Background: The diagnosis of cancer creates a wide range of social and emotional problems to patients and carers. However, delivering effective psychological, emotional, and social support remains a challenge. This pilot study evaluated quality of life (QoL) and lung function before and after three months of choral singing in cancer survivors and their carers. Methods: At baseline, 30 cancer survivors and their carers, mean (standard deviation) age 60 (10), completed questions about QoL (SF-36), anxiety and depression, and the multidimensional fatigue score. Lung function was measured by spirometry, and respiratory muscle strength (maximal inspiratory pressure, MIP; maximal expiratory pressure, MEP) was also measured. Assessments were repeated after three months of singing in the choir, and 10 participants completed semi-structured interviews to explore their experience of the choir. Results: After three months of choral singing, 20 subjects repeated the assessments. Several domains of the SF-36 improved, including vitality, social functioning, mental health, and bodily pain. There was also a trend of reduced anxiety and depression, despite no change in fatigue. Spirometric measures of lung function were unchanged; however, there was a trend of increased MEP. Themes from the interviews revealed that the choir provided a focus, so the future participants felt uplifted and had greater confidence and self-esteem. Conclusions: This pilot project provides preliminary data which suggest choral singing may improve QoL and depression, despite no physiological change in cancer survivors and their carers. Choral groups offer a support mechanism applicable to cancer patients, carers, and supporters, and may be relevant to other chronic conditions. Further research examining the efficacy of this intervention in a larger controlled study is warranted.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Healthcare Sciences
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0254 Neoplasms. Tumors. Oncology (including Cancer)
R Medicine > RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology
Publisher: European Institute of Oncology
ISSN: 1754-6605
Last Modified: 12 Jul 2017 02:41
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/36583

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