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European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine 2009 March;45(1):13-9


language: English

Voice and choral singing treatment: a new approach for speech and voice disorders in Parkinson’s disease

Di Benedetto P. 1, Cavazzon M. 1, Mondolo F. 1, Rugiu G. 2, Peratoner A. 1, Biasutti E. 1

1 Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Institute, Udine, Italy 2 Unit of Otolaryngology University Hospital of Udine, Udine, Italy


Aim. The aim of this study was to propose a new voice rehabilitation program for Parkinson’s Disease (PD) patients based on voice and choral singing treatment (VCST).
Methods. The authors carried out a pilot test-retest non-controlled study with twenty PD patients that voluntarily took part to the speech rehabilitation treatment. Patients underwent 20 hours of speech therapy, two sessions of one hour every week, and 26 hours of choral singing, one session of two hours every week. The speech and choral activity were directed by a speech therapist expert in PD and choral singing. The pre- and post-treatment assessment included neurological and otolaryngological evaluation, voice and speech acoustic analysis, auditory quality of voice analysis, respiratory function evaluation, that were carried out within two weeks before and after VCST.
Results. The authors observed a significant improvement (P<0.05) of functional residual capacity (FRC%), maximum inspiratory pressure (MIP), maximum expiratory pressure (MEP), maximum duration of sustained vowel phonation (MDPh), prosodia reading a passage, using paired t-test; and of fatigue reading a passage using Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test. No significant difference was found in the other variables.
Conclusion. VCST for PD patients can improve specific abnormalities with an amusing, agreeable, and collective approach, but a randomized controlled trial (RCT) is necessary to find evidence of efficacy.

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