The effect of group music therapy on mood, speech,andsinging in individuals with parkinson's disease a feasibility study

Cochavit Elefant, Felicity A. Baker, Meir Lotan, Simen Krogstie Lagesen, Geir Olve Skeie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Background: 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. Objectives: To evaluate the influence of a group voice and singing intervention on speech, singing, and depressive symptoms in individuals with PD. Methods: Ten patients diagnosed with PD participated in this onegroup, repeated measures design study. Participants received the sixtyminute 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 Åsberg 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). Results: 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. Conclusions: 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 twogroup randomized control study is needed to determine whether the intervention contributes to maintenance of speaking quality in persons with PD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)278-302
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Music Therapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2012


  • Depression
  • Group therapy
  • Music therapy
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Singing
  • Vocal ability


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