Choir

A new study into Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease brought together sufferers of the breathing condition for an afternoon of singing.

The study was conducted by Angela Prouse and James Wyatt, two Occupational Therapy students at the University of Northampton’s School of Health. What originally began as a coursework project has grown into a series of popular choir sessions at a local community.

The students were asked to research the effects of activity on a medical condition of their choice and singing with COPD seemed like an interesting match.

By reaching out to pulmonary support groups, they built links with local COPD sufferers. When their first event attracted 40 sufferers of the condition, it was clear they had struck a chord.

The students found that the group activity had a noticeable effect on the volunteers’ wellbeing, despite their symptoms.

How does it help? Put simply, singing requires a controlled release of the diaphragm, in a way that regular speech does not. Singing will build up strength of the muscle helping to counter the difficulties COPD creates.

The show isn’t over just yet, as Angela explains: “The funding kindly provided by the Centre for Employability and Engagement has allowed that first session to grow into a run of six sessions. From our research we have concluded that singing is good for wellbeing.

“James has now secured further funding from Northampton General Hospital for the project to continue.”

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