Group singing and health-related quality of life in Parkinson's Disease

Romane V. Abell, Amee D. Baird, Kerry A. Chalmers*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    11 Citations (Scopus)


    Objective: Parkinson's disease (PD) has a negative impact on health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Previous studies have shown that participating in group singing activities can improve quality of life in some patient populations (e.g., people with chronic mental health or neurological conditions). The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of group singing on HRQoL for people diagnosed with PD. Method: Eleven participants (mean age 70.6 years) with a formal diagnosis of PD between Hoehn and Yahr Stages I-III were recruited from a community singing group for people with PD, their family and their carers. Participants' perceptions of the effect of group singing on their quality of life were captured in a semistructured interview. Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA), a qualitative methodology, informed data collection and analysis. Results: The IPA analysis revealed 6 categories that characterized the effects of group singing: physical, mood, cognitive functioning, social connectedness, "flow-on" effects, and sense-of-self. All participants reported positive effects across at least 4 of these categories. Three participants reported a negative effect in 1 category (physical, mood, or sense-of-self). Conclusions: The results suggest that group singing improved HRQoL with all participants reporting positive effects regardless of PD stage or symptom severity. Weekly engagement in group singing resulted in multiple benefits for the participants and counteracted some of the negative effects of PD. These findings suggest that group singing "gives back" some of what PD "takes away."

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)55-64
    Number of pages10
    JournalHealth Psychology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017

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