Parkinson's disease related speech and voice impairment have significant impact on quality of life measures. LSVT(®)LOUD voice and speech therapy (Lee Silverman Voice Therapy) has demonstrated scientific efficacy and clinical effectiveness, but musically based voice and speech therapy has been underexplored as a potentially useful method of rehabilitation. We undertook a pilot, open-label study of a group-based singing intervention, consisting of twelve 90-min weekly sessions led by a voice and speech therapist/singing instructor. The primary outcome measure of vocal loudness as measured by sound pressure level (SPL) at 50 cm during connected speech was not significantly different one week after the intervention or at 13 weeks after the intervention. A number of secondary measures reflecting pitch range, phonation time and maximum loudness also were unchanged. Voice related quality of life (VRQOL) and voice handicap index (VHI) also were unchanged. This study suggests that a group singing therapy intervention at this intensity and frequency does not result in significant improvement in objective and subject-rated measures of voice and speech impairment.
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