Session Time: 1:45pm-3:15pm
Location: Hall 3FG
Objective: To explore the effects of a therapeutic group singing intervention (ParkinSong) on communication and wellbeing outcomes for people living with Parkinson’s disease.
Background: Communication impairment is one of the most common symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, significantly impacting quality of life, yet few seek help for this.  Singing shares many of the neural networks and structural mechanisms used during speech.  Therapeutic group singing sessions can be designed specifically to target the functional communication issues resulting from Parkinson’s disease and to provide rhythmic cues to stimulate and organise motor speech output. 
Methods: A controlled clinical trial measured the effects of a ParkinSong group singing intervention, at 2 dosage levels (weekly versus monthly) over 3 months, on voice, speech, respiratory, and wellbeing outcomes for 77 people living with Parkinson’s disease. The ParkinSong model comprises high effort vocal and respiratory tasks, speech exercises, group singing, and social communication opportunities. Control participants took part in regular peer support and/or creative activity groups that did not involve singing.
Results: ParkinSong intervention participants demonstrated significant improvements in vocal intensity (p=0.001), maximum expiratory pressure (p=0.006), and voice-related quality of life (p=0.020) in comparison to controls. Weekly ParkinSong participants increased vocal intensity more than monthly participants (p = 0.011). Vocal intensity declined in non-treatment control groups. No changes in speech intelligibility, maximum phonation length, or health-related quality of life were observed.
Conclusions: Group singing is an effective and engaging therapy to increase loudness and increase respiratory function in people with mild to moderately severe Parkinson’s disease
References: 1. Miller N, Noble E, Jones D, Deane KHO, Gibb C. Survey of speech and language therapy provision for people with Parkinson’s disease in the United Kingdom: patients’ and carers’ perspectives. Int J Lang Commun Disord 2010;46(2):179-88. 2. Amorim GOD, Albuquerque LCA, Pernambuco LDA, Balata PMM, Luckwü-Lucena BT, Silva HJD. Contributions of neuroimaging in singing voice studies: a systematic review. Revista CEFAC 2017;19(4):556-64. 3. Tamplin J, Baker FA. Therapeutic singing protocols for addressing acquired and degenerative speech disorders in adults. Music Therapy Perspectives 2017.
To cite this abstract in AMA style:J. Tamplin, A. Vogel, C. Marigliani, F. Baker, M. Morris. A controlled trial of ParkinSong singing groups to improve communication and wellbeing in Parkinson’s disease [abstract]. Mov Disord. 2018; 33 (suppl 2). https://www.mdsabstracts.org/abstract/a-controlled-trial-of-parkinsong-singing-groups-to-improve-communication-and-wellbeing-in-parkinsons-disease/. Accessed December 2, 2023.
« Back to 2018 International Congress
MDS Abstracts - https://www.mdsabstracts.org/abstract/a-controlled-trial-of-parkinsong-singing-groups-to-improve-communication-and-wellbeing-in-parkinsons-disease/