The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1751-0759-8-11) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
KY conceived the study, participated in the design of the study, carried out data collection and drafted the manuscript. YT performed the statistical analysis. KR and NA and AH and AT and ES and KT participated in the design of the study and carried out data collection. IS looked over the study. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
The evaluation and management of stress are important for the prevention of both depression and cardiovascular disease. In addition, the maintenance of the oral condition of the elderly is essential to enable them to stay healthy, especially to prevent aspiration pneumonia and improve mental health in an aging society. Therefore, we examined the efficacy of singing on the oral condition, mental health status, and immunity of the elderly to determine if singing could contribute to the improvement of their physical condition.
Forty-four subjects (10 men, 34 women), aged 60 years or older, participated in this study. The efficacy of singing on mental health status and immunocompetence was examined by swallowing function, oral condition, blood, and saliva tests, as well as through questionnaires taken before and after singing.
The results showed that the amount of saliva increased and the level of cortisol, a salivary stress marker, decreased after singing. The Visual Analog Scale (VAS) scores for feeling refreshed, comfortable, pleasurable, light-hearted, relieved, and relaxed; the tension and confusion subscale score; and the total mood disturbance (TMD) score of the Profile of Mood States (POMS) all showed improvements. Furthermore, the same tendencies were shown regardless of whether or not the subjects liked singing.
Our results suggest that singing can be effective in improving the mental health and oral condition of the elderly.
Authors’ original file for figure 113030_2013_147_MOESM1_ESM.pdf
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