ParkinSong Online: Feasibility of Telehealth Delivery and Remote Data Collection for a Therapeutic Group Singing Study in Parkinson's

Neurorehabil Neural Repair. 2024 Feb;38(2):122-133. doi: 10.1177/15459683231219269. Epub 2023 Dec 29.


Background: Parkinson's disease can negatively affect vocal functioning and social wellbeing, particularly in the latter stages of disease progression. Face-to-face group singing interventions can improve communication and wellbeing outcomes, yet not all people can access in-person sessions. To help overcome barriers to participation, exploration of the feasibility and utility of online therapeutic singing programs is needed.

Objectives: To evaluate the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary efficacy of a 12-week ParkinSong Online intervention on speech and wellbeing for people with Parkinson's disease.

Methods: A total of 28 participants with idiopathic Parkinson's disease were recruited to a single-arm feasibility study. Weekly 90-minute online sessions were co-facilitated by a music therapist and speech pathologist. Speech and wellbeing assessments were conducted pre and post intervention. Participant and facilitator surveys were administered after each session, with focus group interviews at the end of the program.

Results: The recruitment rate was high (90%) with no attrition, adverse events, or safety issues. There was good intervention fidelity, attendance (average 89%), and positive participant experience. Feasibility was good, with technology reported as the main challenge (connecting and navigating Zoom). No improvements were seen in voice measures or wellbeing outcomes in this small trial. The online format used in this study did not provide the same benefits as in-person ParkinSong sessions.

Conclusions: ParkinSong Online is feasible for recreational purposes and social engagement provided that people have adequate technological knowledge or support. The optimal online delivery format to achieve communication improvements in Parkinson's awaits confirmation.

Keywords: Parkinson’s disease; dysarthria; feasibility; online; rehabilitation; singing; speech; telehealth; voice.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Feasibility Studies
  • Humans
  • Parkinson Disease*
  • Singing*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Telemedicine*