Didgeridoo playing and singing to support asthma management in aboriginal Australians

Eley, Robert and Gorman, Don (2010) Didgeridoo playing and singing to support asthma management in aboriginal Australians. Journal of Rural Health, 26 (1). pp. 100-104. ISSN 0890-765X

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Context: Asthma affects over 15% of Australian Aboriginal people. Compliance in asthma management is poor. Interventions that will increase compliance are required.

Purpose: The purpose of the study was to determine whether Aboriginal children, adolescents and adults would engage in music lessons to increase their knowledge of asthma and support management of their asthma.

Methods: Participants were recruited from schools and through the local Aboriginal Medical Service. All participants identified as Aborigines and were
diagnosed as being asthmatic. The intervention was a 6-month program of once weekly music lessons using a culturally significant wind instrument, the
didgeridoo, for males and singing lessons for females.

Findings: High school students enthusiastically engaged and had excellent retention in what they considered to be a most enjoyable program. Respiratory function improved significantly in both junior and senior boys who also reported a noticeable improvement in their health. Similar but less significant improvement was seen in the high school girls, although like the boys, they
too perceived an improvement in their asthma.

Conclusions: The project demonstrated that music has great potential for engaging and thus supporting asthma. Furthermore, cultural awareness was increased
by those playing the didgeridoo and social skills were noticeably improved in the girls. Similar culturally appropriate activities have applications
far beyond Aboriginal communities in Australia.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Author's version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - No Department
Date Deposited: 11 Feb 2008 02:32
Last Modified: 19 Apr 2016 01:53
Uncontrolled Keywords: aborigines; asthmatics; asthma; quality of life; respiratory function; music; didgeridoo
Fields of Research : 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111701 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1102 Cardiovascular Medicine and Haematology > 110203 Respiratory Diseases
19 Studies in Creative Arts and Writing > 1904 Performing Arts and Creative Writing > 190408 Music Therapy
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 92 Health > 9203 Indigenous Health > 920399 Indigenous Health not elsewhere classified
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1111/j.1748-0361.2009.00257.x
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/3551

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