Research focus

Singing, music and dance in Parkinson’s disease

Three research articles of interest to nurses of older people

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a long-term neurological condition that can have a profound effect on physical, psychological and social function.

It becomes more prevalent with age, affecting 1.6% of the population over the age of 65. Motor symptoms can include slowness, tremor, stiffness and impaired balance; non-motor symptoms can include changed mood, cognition, and a wide range of physical, emotional and social functions. While medical treatments offer effective management of many symptoms, there is emerging research into the value of non-pharmacological approaches, such as music, singing and dance.

Three reviews of the evidence are summarised. Overall, the evidence demonstrates the potential for relief of physical, social and emotional symptoms of PD through engagement with singing, dance and music-related activities. The strongest evidence supports engagement with Argentine tango, but further research into this and singing,