Singing for Health: Improving Experience of Lung Disease (SHIELD)

  • Research type

    Research Study

  • Full title

    Singing for Health: Improving Experience of Lung Disease (SHIELD trial)



  • Contact name

    Nicholas Hopkinson

  • Contact email

  • Sponsor organisation

    Imperial College London

  • Identifier


  • Duration of Study in the UK

    3 years, 0 months, 4 days

  • Research summary

    We want to study the effectiveness of Singing for Lung Health in people who have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The condition is usually called “COPD” and affects 1.3 million people in the UK. People with COPD have damaged lungs and can be very limited by breathlessness, muscle weakness and balance problems. These symptoms can cause other problems including low mood and social isolation.

    Singing for lung health involves taking part in group singing classes led by a specially trained teacher. Patients learn techniques to help control their breathing and posture as part of a group activity which is fun and sociable. The goal for the groups is to get better at singing, an artistic objective. By doing this individuals gain skills that help them to cope with their lung condition, a health improvement objective. We know from research that people taking part in the groups find it enjoyable and helpful but there have only been small, short-term studies so far to assess its clinical effectiveness.

    We will conduct a clinical trial where 120 people with COPD are allocated randomly either to usual care or to participating in a singing programme twice a week for 12 weeks. At baseline and at the end participants will complete questionnaires about their medical history and their overall health as well as about breathlessness and physical activity. We will also measure day to day physical activity.

  • REC name

    London - Stanmore Research Ethics Committee

  • REC reference


  • Date of REC Opinion

    20 Mar 2019

  • REC opinion

    Favourable Opinion