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IntroductionMusic and dance are increasingly used as adjunctive arts-in-health interventions in high-income settings, with a growing body of research suggesting biopsychosocial benefits. Such low-cost, low-resource interventions may have application in low-resource settings such as Uganda. However, research on perceptions of patients and healthcare professionals regarding such approaches is lacking.MethodsWe delivered sample sessions of music and dance for chronic respiratory disease (CRD) to patients and healthcare professionals. Seven participants took part in one singing and dance sample session. One patient completed only the dance session. We then conducted an exploratory qualitative study using thematic analysis of semistructured interviews with healthcare professionals and patients regarding (1) the role of music and dance in Ugandan life and (2) the perceived acceptability and feasibility of using music and dance in CRD management in Uganda.ResultsWe interviewed 19 participants, made up of 11 patients with long-term respiratory conditions and 8 healthcare professionals, who were selected by purposeful convenience sampling. Four key themes were identified from interview analysis: music and dance (1) were central components of daily life; (2) had an established role supporting health and well-being; and (3) had strong therapeutic potential in respiratory disease management. The fourth theme was (4) the importance of modulating demographic considerations of culture, religion and age.ConclusionMusic and dance are central to life in Uganda, with established roles supporting health and well-being. These roles could be built on in the development of music and dance interventions as adjuncts to established components of CRD disease management like pulmonary rehabilitation. Through consideration of key contextual factors and codevelopment and adaptation of interventions, such approaches are likely to be well received.

Original publication




Journal article


BMJ Open



Publication Date





e053189 - e053189