Group singing enhances positive affect in people with Parkinson’s Disease


  • Amee Baird Macquarie University



There is increasing evidence of the benefits of music, in particular singing, for people with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Current research has primarily focused on vocal or motor symptoms. Our aim was to examine the immediate emotional effects of group singing in people with PD, and whether the type of music sung (familiar vs. unfamiliar songs) moderates these effects. We also explored whether differences in music reward modulate the emotional effects of group singing in people with PD.  11 participants with PD completed the Positive And Negative Affect Schedule in three conditions: immediately after group singing (1) familiar songs, (2) unfamiliar songs, and (3) no singing, in addition to the Barcelona Music Reward Questionnaire. There was no significant difference in positive affect scores between the two singing conditions (familiar/unfamiliar songs). Positive affect scores were higher in the singing (collapsed across familiar and unfamiliar songs) than no singing condition. There was a positive but not statistically significant relationship between music reward and positive affect scores after singing. This is the first study to show enhanced positive affect in people with PD immediately after group singing. This has clinical implications for the use of singing as a therapeutic intervention in people with PD. 


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