A new study has found that music therapy can improve the effectiveness of standard rehabilitation that patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other chronic respiratory disorders receive.
COPD is a progressive lung disease with symptoms including shortness of breath, wheezing, an ongoing cough, frequent colds or flu, and chest tightness.
‘The music therapy sessions for patients with respiratory disorders increased engagement in therapeutic activities and an opportunity to cope with the challenges of a chronic disease.’
The findings suggest that music therapy may be an effective addition to traditional treatment for these disorders.
"The results of this study provide a comprehensive foundation for the establishment of music therapy intervention as part of pulmonary rehabilitation care," said study co-author Jonathan Raskin from Mount Sinai Beth Israel (MSBI), a hospital in New York, US.
The 68 study participants were diagnosed with chronic disabling respiratory diseases, including COPD.
Over the course of six weeks, a randomized group of these patients attended weekly music therapy sessions.
Each session included live music, visualizations, wind instrument playing and singing, which incorporated breath control techniques.
Certified music therapists provided active music-psychotherapy. The music therapy sessions incorporated patients' preferred music, which encouraged self-expression, increased engagement in therapeutic activities and an opportunity to cope with the challenges of a chronic disease.
"The care of chronic illness is purposefully shifting away from strict traditional assessments that once focused primarily on diagnosis, morbidity and mortality rates," Joanne Loewy from MSBI noted.
"Instead, the care of the chronically ill is moving toward methods that aim to preserve and enhance quality of life of our patients and activities of daily living through identification of their culture, motivation, caregiver/home trends and perceptions of daily wellness routines," Loewy said.
The study was published in the journal Respiratory Medicine.