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Changes Observed in Persons with Parkinson's Disease Pre- and Post- Voice Choral Singing Therapy Open Access


Other title
global rating of change scale
speech intelligibility
speech acoustics
Voice Choral Singing Therapy
voice treatment
singing acoustics
Parkinson's Disease
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Chan, Sable J
Supervisor and department
Campbell, Melanie (Speech Pathology and Audiology)
Examining committee member and department
Wiens, Harold (Music)
Tucker, Benjamin (Linguistics)
Hodge, Megan (Speech Pathology and Audiology)
Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology

Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
Voice Choral Singing Therapy has been gaining interest as an alternative form of voice therapy for persons with Parkinson’s disease. Often Voice Choral Singing Therapy employs individual and/or group singing activities to improve phonation. The present thesis follows this trend. A professional singing teacher provided individual singing instruction three times per week and group singing instruction once per week for one month, resulting in six and one-half hours individual instruction and four hours group instruction for every one of five participants. Interview data, singing, and speech samples were collected and analyzed to observe outcomes from pre- to post therapy. The interview data were analyzed making novel use of a global rating change scale (Kamper, Maher, & MacKay, 2009) to detect changes from pre- to post-therapy in swallowing, coughing, speech, and facial-expression domains. The findings were inconclusive, but a trend was detected for some change in the speech domain. The singing data were submitted to a descriptive analysis using several acoustic measurements. After therapy, participants took fewer breaths, increased mean intensity, maximum intensity, and range of intensity following therapy. In the speech data mean intensity, maximum intensity, and the range of intensity also increased. These three intensity measures are not independent variables; they are interrelated and changes in one would be expected in all. Pre- and post-therapy sentences were paired in a discrimination listening task for 33 naïve listeners. Naïve listeners significantly chose the post-treatment speech samples as sounding better. [McNemar test > chi2= 0.0000]. Interview data yielded detection of only a trend toward post-treatment speech changes, however, singing and speech data showed positive acoustic and auditory-perceptual differences following Voice Choral Singing Therapy.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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