Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder where patients exhibit impairments in speech production. Few studies have investigated the influence of music interventions on vocal abilities of individuals with PD.
To evaluate the influence of a group voice and singing intervention on speech, singing, and depressive symptoms in individuals with PD.
Ten patients diagnosed with PD participated in this one-group, repeated measures design study. Participants received the sixty-minute intervention, in a small group setting once a week for 20 consecutive weeks. Speech and singing quality were acoustically analyzed using a KayPentax Multi-Dimensional Voice Program, voice ability using the Voice Handicap Index (VHI), and depressive symptoms using the Montgomery and Asberg Depression rating scale (MADRS). Measures were taken at baseline (Time 1), after 10 weeks of weekly sessions (Time 2), and after 20 weeks of weekly sessions (Time 3).
Significant changes were observed for five of the six singing quality outcomes at Time 2 and 3, as well as voice range and the VHI physical subscale at Time 3. No significant changes were found for speaking quality or depressive symptom outcomes; however, there was an absence of decline on speaking quality outcomes over the intervention period.
Significant improvements in singing quality and voice range, coupled with the absence of decline in speaking quality support group singing as a promising intervention for persons with PD. A two-group randomized control study is needed to determine whether the intervention contributes to maintenance of speaking quality in persons with PD.
Grieg Academy, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway.
Another fantastic day today. I want to thank Philippa and Karen at Aldeburgh Music for all their support and help over the last two days. More is planned and I am very excited. I cannot help the group I would also like to thank ENT Consultant Nicholas Gibbins and Margherita Baker, a Speech Therapist for their informative and motivational talks about Singing and Parkinson’s.
The two days have left me with so much to think about and digest but my lasting memory will be the spin tingling performance by the group of Senzenina. The group achieved so much over the days and I am bursting with pride.
Today over twenty people with Parkinson’s and their carers and families, came to Snape at the generosity of Aldeburgh Music today to make music, to sing, to use their voiceboxes and to have fun. They came to help me test out all my ideas after my travels and research, as part of my Residency at Aldeburgh. It has been the most wonderful day and I am brimming with confidence and ideas for the future but more importantly the comments from the group and the joy on all the participants faces has given me a renewed sense of vigour to try and find funding to take this valid work forwards. I can’t wait for tomorrow.