Impact of group-singing on older adult health in senior living communities: A pilot study

Musetta C. Fu*, Basia Belza, Huong Nguyen, Rebecca Logsdon, Steven Demorest

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: Participating in a group-singing program may be beneficial to healthy aging through engaging in active music-making activities and breathing exercises. The purpose of this study was to assess the feasibility, acceptability, and impact of a 12-week group singing program on cognitive function, lung health and quality of life (QoL) of older adults. Materials and methods: A pre and post-test quasi-experimental design evaluated the impact of a group-singing program on older adult health. The intervention consisted of pre-singing exercises, song-singing and learning, and socialization. Classes were 75 min/week for 12 weeks. Inclusion criteria were age ≥60, no self-reported diagnosis of dementia, and able to hear conversations within 2 feet. Participants were recruited from 3 senior living communities. Outcome measures included cognition, lung function, QoL, and program feasibility and acceptability. A paired t-test with 2-sided alpha level at 0.05 was used to test the null hypotheses. Results: We enrolled 49 participants (mean age 83.6). Forty-two (86%) completed the posttests and exit survey. At the 12th week there was significant improvement in phonological (p < 0.0001) and animal (p = 0.0004) semantic Verbal Fluency Tests, immediate Word Recall Test (p < 0.0001), Maximum Inspiratory Pressure (p = 0.0001), Maximum Expiratory Pressure (p < 0.0001), and in-session oxygen saturation (p = 0.03). Program satisfaction was rated, on average, 9 on a 10-point scale. Conclusion: A group-singing program with deep breathing training and song-learning may promote memory, language, speech information processing, executive function, and respiratory muscle strength in older adults. The program was feasible and well-accepted. A clinical trial with a larger sample is indicated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)138-146
Number of pages9
JournalArchives of Gerontology and Geriatrics
Volume76
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2018

Keywords

  • Breathing exercises
  • Cognition
  • Health promotion
  • Older adult
  • Singing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Aging
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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