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Therapeutic singing as an early intervention for swallowing in persons with Parkinson's disease.
OBJECTIVEFor persons with Parkinson's disease (PD), secondary motor symptoms such as swallow impairment impact the quality of life and are major contributors to mortality. There is a present need for therapeutic interventions aimed at improving swallow function during the early stages of PD. The purpose of this pilot study was to examine the effects of a group therapeutic singing intervention on swallowing in persons with PD with no significant dysphagia symptoms.
SETTINGUniversity in the United States.
PARTICIPANTSTwenty-four participants with PD.
INTERVENTIONEight weeks of group therapeutic singing.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURESElectromyography (EMG) was used to assess muscle activity associated with swallow pre and post the group singing intervention. Swallow quality of life (SWAL-QOL) and the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) were also obtained pre- and post-intervention.
RESULTSParticipants reported minimal difficulty with swallowing, yet results revealed a significant increase in EMG outcome measures, as well as significant improvement in UPDRS total and UPDRS motor scores. No significant differences were revealed for SWAL-QOL.
CONCLUSIONIncreases in EMG timing measures may suggest that group singing results in the prolongation of laryngeal elevation, protecting the airway from foreign material for longer periods of time during swallow. Combined with the improvement in UPDRS clinical measures, therapeutic singing may be an engaging early intervention strategy to address oropharyngeal dysphagia while also benefiting additional clinical symptoms of PD.
Department of Kinesiology, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, United States. Electronic address: firstname.lastname@example.org.,
Department of Kinesiology, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, United States.,
Department of Kinesiology, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, United States.
Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Jacksonville University, Jacksonville, FL, United States.
Early Intervention (Education)
Quality of Life
Pub Type(s)Journal Article