Does Choral Singing Improve Word Finding? A single-subject examination of the effects of choir participation for Primary Progressive Aphasia
Lusung, Junilane C., 1997--
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The purpose of this study was to provide quantitative evidence that choir participation can help individuals with aphasia make significant gains in functional communication. The participant in this study was a member of the Bridges Choir who presented with primary progressive aphasia. Language samples were collected from the participant immediately before and after each of the once-weekly rehearsals over an eight-week period and analyzed for changes in word-finding and verbal fluency. The participant was also interviewed at the end of the eight-week session to measure qualitative changes in her language, cognition, and/or affect. Contrary to expectations, analysis of the participant’s language samples revealed no significant changes in word-finding immediately following each choir rehearsal, although verbal fluency showed a statistically insignificant trend of improvement. Interestingly, the participant herself stated that it was “easier to find words” after rehearsals, although quantitative data did not support this statement. The participant’s interview expressed positive, qualitative results related to choir participation, consistent with extant literature. Future research recommendations include examining data from more choir participants, eliciting longer speech samples, and adding within-subject control conditions to account for possible activity-related fatigue.