|Title:||SingStrong for Long Covid: A singing and breathing intervention for respiratory symptoms & general health in Long Covid: A mixed-methods study|
|Author(s):||R Cahalan S Mockler C Meade|
|Institution:||University of Limerick|
|Poster:||Click to view poster|
|Abstract:||Background: Long COVID (LC) is emerging as a significant challenge to clinicians, with evidence lacking for the effective management of this condition. This pilot study explored the efficacy of a breathing retraining and singing programme (SingStrong for LC) to address respiratory and other common symptoms of LC.|
Methods: The 10-week bi-weekly online programme was comprised of a 45-minute class of mindfulness, breathing retraining, vocal exercises and singing. Sessions were recorded for non-attenders and conducted by a trained vocal coach experienced in respiratory cohorts. Persons with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis and persisting symptoms were invited to participate. Demographic and COVID-19 data were collected, and the DePaul Symptom Questionnaire Short Form (DSQ- SF) and COVID 19 Yorkshire Rehab Screen (C19-YRS) questionnaires were administered. Questionnaires were re-administered post-intervention and focus groups were conducted.
Results: Of 27 (F=23(85%)) participants recruited, data from 21 who completed at least 10 (50%) classes were analysed. Participants showed significant pre-post intervention improvements in all breathlessness symptoms (at rest: p< .001; dressing: p=0.01; stairs: p< .001), fatigue (p=0.03), usual activities (p=0.04), pain/disability (p=0.03), voice quality (p=0.01), and communication/cognition (p=0.04). Pre-post number of instances meeting DSQ-SF criteria for myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) decreased by a net of nine cases (14.3%). No association between COVID-19 hospitalisation status and diagnosis of ME/CFS was identified. Qualitative feedback from eight participants was overwhelmingly positive with all reporting improvements in breathing and general wellbeing.
Conclusion: The SingStrong programme shows promise as a viable treatment option for people with LC. Future studies are required to further investigate the efficacy of this intervention.