Enhancing the Effectiveness of Pulmonary Rehabilitation for Patients with COPD

A new study conducted by researchers at The Louis Armstrong Center of Music and Medicine at Mount Sinai Beth Israel concludes that music therapy is a useful adjunct to standard rehabilitation in the treatment of patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and other chronic respiratory disorders. The findings appear in the journal Respiratory Medicine. PAINWeek faculty member Joanne Loewy, DA, LCAT, MT-BC, Director of the Louis Armstrong Center for Music and Medicine commented “…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.”

COPD, the 4th leading cause of death in the US, is characterized by symptoms that include chest tightness, shortness of breath, and chronic cough. In the study, 68 patients with chronic respiratory illness including COPD were randomly assigned to receive weekly music therapy sessions that included live music, visualizations, wind instrument playing and singing, which incorporated breath control techniques. This cohort exhibited an improvement in symptoms and in psychological well-being and quality of life, in comparison to study subjects who received rehabilitation therapy alone. Read more about the research here. The article abstract may be read here.


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