• 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.