Research Overview - Dr Gordon MacGregor
'Fourteen subjects (patients with Cystic Fibrosis) completed the study. There were some positive signs of improvement in this small study group. Whilst exercising, we could see an improvement in tidal breathing, meaning that patients were able to control their breathing better when they were exercising. There were suggestions of improvement in the lung function marker (FEV1), which rose by a median of 13% - however this was not statistically significant (as study numbers were small). There was a suggestion of improvement in how subjects cleared gas from their lungs - Lung Clearance Index. Again this did not reach statistical significance in this small study group. Full data will hopefully be published soon.
This was a pilot study, and there were suggestions of improvement in these important measurements. Therefore a further larger study is warranted in using singing techniques to improve lung function in people with Cystic Fibrosis.'
Research Overview - Dr Rachel Drury
'The research commissioned by Scottish Opera explored three key areas, namely: the impact of the project in musical development, musical identity and listening behaviours, and self-esteem. The data was collected using questionnaires, interviews and a music test, all of which were conducted before and after the project for each participant.
We were interested in exploring ways in which a project like Breath Cycle might change the way people think of themselves regarding being a singer or being musical. Many of our participants had not had any kind of formal musical training before taking part in the project and therefore did not describe themselves as being particularly musical at the start. Our results suggest that this view changed as they gained skills and, crucially, confidence in their singing lessons. They began to feel comfortable describing themselves as musicians and singers. The results also suggested that their view of opera as an art form changed throughout the course of the study and that they now identify with it, and are happy to identify with it, far more than they did at the start.
We also explored the use of the online technology as a learning tool. Those that engaged with this aspect of the project found it to be a valuable resource both in terms of singing development (to record, reflect, and gain feedback remotely) and social engagement. Due to the nature of the disease, Breath Cycle represents the first time that some of our participants have worked or socialised with others with CF, albeit on a digital platform.
The combination of results from the research commissioned by Scottish Opera and those from the study done by Dr Gordon MacGregor provide a comprehensive overview of the impact of this small-scale pilot project, and also direction for future work and research in this area.'