Singing Therapy for Young People With Cystic Fibrosis: A Randomized Controlled Pilot Study

J. Yoon Irons*, Dianna T. Kenny, Margaret McElrea, Anne B. Chang

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    31 Citations (Scopus)


    Singing is not merely a vocal expression but also a physical activity involving the lungs and respiratory muscles. The purpose of this study was to evaluate singing as an adjunct therapy for young people with cystic fibrosis (CF). In a randomized controlled study, 51 hospitalized children (mean age = 11.6 years, 35% male) participated in either 8 singing or 8 recreational sessions. Respiratory muscle strength using maximal inspiratory and expiratory pressure (MIP and MEP, respectively), spirometry, and quality of life (QoL) were assessed at baseline (T1), postintervention (T2), and follow-up (T3). The singing group demonstrated statistically significant increases in MIP and MEP at T2 and T3, while no statistically significant changes were evident in the control group. In the QoL measurements, both groups showed improvement in some domains. The results indicate that singing has the potential to improve the respiratory status and QoL of young people with CF.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)136-145
    Number of pages10
    JournalMusic & Medicine
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


    • cystic fibrosis
    • quality of life
    • respiratory muscle strength
    • singing


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