The WHAM Study

  • Research type

    Research Study

  • Full title

    Randomised controlled feasibility study of Maintaining the benefits of Pulmonary Rehabilitation with Harmonies and Melodies via Singing for Lung Health. The WHAM study.



  • Contact name

    Adam Lewis

  • Contact email

  • Sponsor organisation

    Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust (GSTFT), Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals

  • Duration of Study in the UK

    1 years, 11 months, 30 days

  • Research summary

    To find out if individuals with lung disease, who have completed an exercise and disease education programme,can then attend 12 weeks of singing classes designed for individuals with lung conditions.
    Pulmonary Rehabilitation (PR) is an education and exercise programme recommended for people with lung conditions to improve the management of breathlessness, exercise capacity and quality of life.

    Improvements from PR are typically lost after a year without supervised ‘maintenance’ programmes which are not widely available. Without joining these
    programmes people increase their risk of getting chest infections, being hospitalised and dying.

    Singing for Lung Health (SLH) provide management of breathlessness and other symptoms. By improving singing techniques, individuals gain skills that help them to cope with their lung condition. People taking part in SLH groups find them enjoyable, sociable and useful managing their conditions. However, only small, short-term studies have been performed. Research has not yet shown benefit specifically for individuals with respiratory disease participating in singing groups after completing PR.

    In this study:
    A ‘taster’ singing session will be added to the pulmonary rehabilitation education programme.

    Patients completing PR will be randomised to receive standard care home-exercise advice, or to attend local SLH groups once a week for 12 weeks, as well as receiving the home-exercise advice.

    All patients will complete diaries of their home practice sessions of singing and exercise.

    Patients will complete research assessments before starting their first SLH session and again after completing 12 weeks of singing.

    The research team will help develop working relationships between PR group leaders and SLH leaders.

    Clinicians, singing leaders and participants will be interviewed about their experiences of working together, and participating in the research.

    Participants will be paid to attend singing sessions and assessments.


    How many people take part in, and complete SLH (main outcome).

    Completion rates and referrals of individuals from PR programmes.

    Changes in symptoms between the two groups after 12 weeks.

  • REC name

    South Central - Hampshire B Research Ethics Committee

  • REC reference


  • Date of REC Opinion

    4 Oct 2021

  • REC opinion

    Further Information Favourable Opinion