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Voice Improvement in Parkinson’s Disease: Vocal Pedagogy and Voice Therapy Combined Open Access
- Other title
Voice Improvement in Parkinson’s Disease
- Type of item
- Degree grantor
University of Alberta
- Author or creator
Tanner, Merrill A.
- Supervisor and department
Dr. Lil Liu (Occupational Therapy)
- Examining committee member and department
Dr. Philip Doyle (Communication Sciences & Disorders, University of Western Ontario)
Dr. Melanie Campbell (Speech-Language Pathology)
Dr. Sharon Warren (Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine)
Dr. Leonard Ratzlaff (Department of Music)
Dr. Linda Rammage (Audiology & Speech Sciences, University of British Columbia)
Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine
- Date accepted
- Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
- Degree level
The objective of this study was to examine a group vocalization program consisting of vocal exercises and choral singing designed to improve the voices of people with idiopathic Parkinson’s disease (IPD). A single group pretest-posttest research design was used. A total of 28 people with IPD participated in the study. Half (n=14) participated in an intervention program in the spring of 2010, and the other half participated in the fall of the same year. The intervention program was six weeks long. Two groups of 7 participants each attended one 90-minute session per week, and the two groups came together at the end of every week for another 90-minute session. Each session included vocal warm-up, vocal exercises, singing exercises, choral speech, and choral singing with piano accompaniment. Participants were provided with video and audio files of songs and exercises to facilitate daily vocal practice. Speech-Language Pathologists not involved with treatment gathered acoustic and perceptual data on participants’ voices pre- and post-treatment, while another Speech-Language Pathologist with experience and training in both singing technique and voice therapy provided treatment.
Participants were tested for pre-/post-treatment changes in “vocal ability” (nine acoustic/timing measures and two SLP-rated perceptual measures) and “vocal quality of life” (two participant-rated measures) for a total of 13 dependent variables. Statistically significant changes at the .004 level of significance (a correction for the number of variables employed) were found in two of the eleven measures of “vocal ability” (average frequency during an oral reading task and maximum intensity range) and in one of the two measures of “vocal quality of life” (the Speech Intelligibility Inventory: Self Assessment Form). Three of the eleven measures of “vocal ability” were found to be clinically relevant changes (maximum intensity range, maximum frequency range, and fundamental frequency variation during oral reading). Changes in scores on both questionnaires used to measure “vocal quality of life” were also found to be clinically relevant. In sum, three of thirteen measures showed statistically significant changes and five of the thirteen showed clinically relevant changes. While modest, these results indicate that participants experienced some improvement in their vocal ability and in vocal quality of life following participation in this group intervention. Measures that exhibited positive trends merit further investigation.
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- Citation for previous publication
• Tanner, Merrill; Liu, Lili; Campbell, Melanie; Warren, Sharon; Ratzlaff, Leonard and Rammage, Linda. (2011) Voice and Singing Therapy Improves Self Assessment of Intelligibility in People with Parkinson’s Disease. Poster at the Advancement for Interdisciplinary Research in Singing (AIRS) Annual Conference, St. John’s, Newfoundland, July, 2011.• Tanner, Merrill; Liu, Lili; Campbell, Melanie; Warren, Sharon; Ratzlaff, Leonard and Rammage, Linda. (2011) Singing and Voice Therapy Combined: An Effective Group Vocalization Program for People with Parkinson’s Disease. Poster at Society for Arts in Healthcare, Burlingame, California, April 14 & 15, 2011.• Tanner, Merrill; Liu, Lili; Campbell, Melanie; Warren, Sharon; Ratzlaff, Leonard and Rammage, Linda. (2011) Voice Improvement Following A Singing and Vocalization Program for People with Parkinson’s Disease. Poster at the AD/PD International Congress, Barcelona, March 10 & 11, 2011.• Tanner, Merrill; Liu, Lili; Campbell, Melanie; Warren, Sharon; Ratzlaff, Leonard and Rammage, Linda. (2010) Quality of Life Improves for People with Parkinson’s Disease through Voice and Singing Therapy. Poster at the Canadian Association on Gerontology Annual Conference, December 4, 2010, Montreal.
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