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Therapeutic singing as an early intervention for swallowing in persons with Parkinson's disease.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

For 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.

DESIGN

Cohort study.

SETTING

University in the United States.

PARTICIPANTS

Twenty-four participants with PD.

INTERVENTION

Eight weeks of group therapeutic singing.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES

Electromyography (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.

RESULTS

Participants 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.

CONCLUSION

Increases 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.

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  • Publisher Full Text
  • Authors+Show Affiliations

    ,

    Department of Kinesiology, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, United States. Electronic address: esteg@iastate.edu.

    ,

    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.

    Source

    Complementary therapies in medicine 31: 2017 Apr pg 127-133

    MeSH

    Aged
    Cohort Studies
    Deglutition
    Deglutition Disorders
    Early Intervention (Education)
    Electromyography
    Female
    Humans
    Male
    Middle Aged
    Music Therapy
    Parkinson Disease
    Quality of Life
    Singing

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    28434465