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Biopsychosoc Med. 2014 May 21;8:11. doi: 10.1186/1751-0759-8-11. eCollection 2014.

Possible benefits of singing to the mental and physical condition of the elderly.

Author information

1
Department of Pathology, Tsurumi University School of Dental Medicine, 2-1-3 Tsurumi-Ku, Yokohama 230-8501, Japan ; PREMEDiCO Co, Ltd. 4 F Chushin Build. 3-3-5, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 101-0047, Uchikanda, Japan.
2
Department of Pathology, Tsurumi University School of Dental Medicine, 2-1-3 Tsurumi-Ku, Yokohama 230-8501, Japan.
3
Department of Health and Welfare Services, National Institute of Public Health, 2-3-6 Minami, Wako-shi, Saitama 351-0197, Japan.
4
Chiyoda Paramedical Care Clinc, 2F Chushin Build. 3-3-5, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 101-0047, Uchikanda, Japan.
5
Daiichikosho Co, Ltd. 5-5-26 Kitashinagawa, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo 141-8701, Japan.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

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.

METHODS:

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.

RESULTS:

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.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our results suggest that singing can be effective in improving the mental health and oral condition of the elderly.

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