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Music Therapy Improves Symptoms of COPD

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By Charlotte Libov   |   Monday, 28 Dec 2015 12:36 PM

Music therapy improves the health of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a new study finds.

COPD is the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S.  Patients with COPD experience symptoms including shortness of breath, wheezing, an ongoing cough, frequent colds or flu, and chest tightness.

Researchers from Mount Sinai Beth Israel in New York devised a study involving 68 patients with chronic disabling respiratory diseases, including COPD. Over the course of six weeks, a randomized group of these patients attended weekly music therapy sessions.

Certified music therapists oversaw each session, which included live music, visualizations, wind instrument playing and singing, which incorporated breath control techniques.

The therapy also involved encouraging self-expression and provided patients with the opportunity for increased engagement in therapeutic activities and to cope with the challenges of a chronic disease.

The researchers found that the patients who received music therapy in conjunction with standard rehabilitation saw an improvement in symptoms, as well as their psychological well-being and quality of life, according to the study which appears in Respiratory Medicine.

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