Analysis of effects of singing on cognitive and emotional factors in assisted-living patients with and without Alzheimer’s disease
Saturday, Nov 09, 2013, 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
++F.01.r. Cognitive aging
*L. E. MAGUIRE
, P. WANSCHURA, M. BATTAGLIA, S. HOWELL, J. FLINN;
George Mason Univ., Fairfax, VA
Positive cognitive changes in healthy elderly and dementia populations exposed to singing may lead to cognitive improvement over time. Musical aptitude and music appreciation are two of the last remaining abilities in patients with Alzheimer’s Disease. Longitudinal studies in the field of vocal music and cognition in the elderly are rare. The purpose of this study was to examine cognitive changes in vocal-music participants before and after a 4-month series of music programming. Singing and listening groups (N = 18) were given 50-minute vocal-music sessions (3x per week) at an East Coast Elder-care facility that housed Secure-ward (dementia) residents. Pre- and Post-treatment measures included the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), a Clock-Drawing test Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS) and an Obama-as-President recognition test. Using data from the Secure-ward participants only, a 2 (Singing vs Listening Treatment) X 2 (Pre- and Post-treatment Time of Measurement) mixed factorial ANOVA was conducted on MMSE scores. There was a significant interaction between Treatment and Time of Measurement. Simple effects analyses showed that Secure-ward Singers and Listeners had similar MMSE scores at Pre-treatment, but that Secure-ward Singers had significantly higher MMSE scores than Secure-ward Listeners at Post-treatment. This showed that the singing treatment improved MMSE scores within the Secure-ward population and that listening alone did not have a positive effect on MMSE scores. We also explored Clock-drawing ability and SWLS. There was no significant difference between Secure-ward Singers and Listeners in Pre-treatment Clock-drawing scores, but Singers scored significantly better than the Listeners on the Post-treatment scores. Interestingly, although the Singers and Listeners did not differ on the initial MMSE or Clock-drawing scores, the Secure-ward Listeners had significantly poorer SWLS scores than Singers in both Pre- and Post-treatment testing. These data show that participation in an active singing program for an extended period of time can improve cognition in patients with moderate to severe dementia.
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