• Group singing improves quality of life for people with Parkinson’s: an international study

      Irons, J. Yoon; Hancox, Grenville; Vella-Burrows, Trish; Han, E-Y; Chong, H-J; Sheffield, David; Stewart, Donald E; University of Derby; Sing to Beat Parkinson's, Cantata Canterbury Trust; Canterbury Christ Church University, Kent; et al. (Taylor & Francis, 2020-02-05)
      Group singing has been reported to enhance quality of life (QoL) and mental health in older people. This paper explored whether there are differences in the effects of group singing intervention on people with Parkinson’s (PwPs) in Australia, UK and South Korea. The study included PwPs (N = 95; mean age = 70.26; male 45%) who participated in a standardised 6-month weekly group singing programme. Parkinson’s health-related QoL measure (PDQ39) and mental health assessment (DASS) were administered at baseline and follow-up. ANOVAs were performed with significance set as p < .05. ANOVAs revealed main effects of Time on the Stigma and Social Support subscales of PDQ39; both showed a small but significant improvement over time. However, the social support reduction was moderated by country; social support was improved only in South Korean participants. The reduction in stigma was greater than previously reported minimal clinically important differences, as was the social support reduction in South Korean participants. In terms of mental health, ANOVAs revealed that the scores of Anxiety and Stress domains of DASS significantly decreased from pre-test to post-test with small effect sizes. This first international singing study with PwPs demonstrated that group singing can reduce stigma, anxiety and stress and enhance social support in older adults living with Parkinson’s. The findings are encouraging and warrant further research using more robust designs.
    • A group singing program improves quality of life: An international study

      Irons, J. Yoon; Hancox, Grenville; Vella-Burrows, Trish; Han, E-Y; Chong, H-J; Sheffield, David; Stewart, Donald E; Health and Social Care Research Centre, University of Derby (University of Derby, 2019-06-05)
      People with Parkinson’s (PwPs) may experience stigma, isolation, stress and anxiety due to the chronic nature of Parkinson’s. Complementary therapies, including singing, have been reported to impact positively on quality of life (QoL) in PwPs. This paper reports on an international trial of Sing to Beat Parkinson’s®, a community group singing program, involving PwPs from Australia, the UK, and South Korea on QoL and mental well-being. PwPs (N=95; mean age=70.26; male 45%) participated in a standardized 6-month weekly group singing program, which included breathing exercises, vocal warm-ups and preferred song singing. PDQ39 and modified DASS21 were administered at baseline and follow-up to assess QoL and mental well-being, respectively. MANOVA and ANOVAs were performed with significance set as p<.05. MANOVA showed statistically significant multivariate effects of Time, Country, Time by Country and Time by Gender interactions on QoL. Follow-up univariate ANOVAs revealed main effects of Time on Stigma and Social Support domains of QoL; both improved. Further, MANOVA revealed a multivariate effect of Time on mental well-being; anxiety and stress significantly decreased from pre-test to post-test. This first international singing study with PwPs demonstrated that group singing enhanced some aspects of quality of life and mental well-being. Participating in a weekly group singing program for a 6-month period impacted positively on social support, and feeling stigmatized, as well as reductions in anxiety and stress. The findings are encouraging and warrant further research using more robust designs that include comparator groups.