Affiliations: [a] Retired Health Professional, London, UK
Adult Speech and Language Therapy Department, St Helier Hospital, Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust, London, UK
| [c] Children and Young People’s Speech and Language Therapy, Evelina London Community Children’s Services, Mary Sheridan Health Centre, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
Respiratory Research Group, Institute of Applied Health Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, UK
Correspondence to: Dr. Maxwell S. Barnish, Epidemiology Group, Polwarth Building, Foresterhill Campus, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, AB25 2ZD, UK. Tel.: +44 01224 437217; E-mail: [email protected].
Note:  Author MSB is now at Epidemiology Group, Institute of Applied Health Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, UK
Abstract: Background: There is evidence that participation in performing arts brings psychosocial benefits in the general population and in recent years there has been substantial interest in the potential therapeutic benefit of performing arts, including singing, for people with chronic medical conditions including those of neurological aetiology. Objective: To systematically review the existing body of evidence regarding the potential benefit of singing on clinical outcomes of people with PD. Methods: Seven online bibliographic databases were systematically searched in January 2016 and supplementary searches were conducted. Full-text original peer-reviewed scientific papers that investigated the potential benefit of singing on at least one of speech, functional communication, cognitive status, motor function and quality of life in human participants with PD were eligible for inclusion. Results: 449 unique records were identified, 25 full-text articles were screened and seven studies included in the review. All seven studies assessed the impact of singing on speech, five found partial evidence of benefit and two found no evidence of benefit. One study assessed each of functional communication and quality of life and no significant benefit was found. No included study assessed the impact of singing on motor function or cognitive status. Conclusions: Singing may benefit the speech of people with PD, although evidence is not unequivocal. Further research is required to assess wider benefits including on functional communication, cognitive status, motor function and quality of life. Substantial methodological limitations were identified in the existing literature. Recommendations are made for advancing the state of the literature.