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

  • Author / Creator
    Chan, Sable J
  • 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.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2012
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.