COPD is a progressive lung disease with symptoms including shortness of breath, wheezing, an ongoing cough, frequent colds or flu, and chest tightness.

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 randomised group of these patients attended weekly music therapy sessions.

Each session included live music, visualisations, 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 study was published in the journal Respiratory Medicine.

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