MusicWorx Music Therapy Agency Completing Harmonica Research Study for Parkinson’s Patients

San Diego, CA November 1, 2017- MusicWorx, a San Diego music therapy agency, that provides music therapy services to meet the clinical, corporate, and wellness needs of those with diseases and other disabilities, announced today that the research grant received from the American Music Therapy Association in Silver Springs, MD for a 12-week study examining the use of harmonica playing on respiratory control, swallowing, and quality of life (QOL) for people with Parkinson’s will conclude on November 7 with a class demonstration of skills learned for family members and friends.

Nearly 80% of people with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) experience difficulty swallowing and respiratory problems that decrease QOL and can lead to life-limiting and/or life-ending consequences. To date, there has been no research on the impact of harmonica playing on respiratory and swallowing functions for individuals with PD. Harmonica playing is an accessible and cost effective tool that could be used in conjunction with other therapies and medications to address this critical need. MusicWorx researcher and staff member, Lindsay Zehren’s focus is: 1) To examine the effects of harmonica playing on respiratory control in persons with PD, and 2) To examine the effects of harmonica playing on swallow quality of life and whole health quality of life.

MusicWorx provides multiple opportunities for patients diagnosed with PD, their families, and care partners through AudAbility, a program designed by Board-Certified music therapists and supported by the Parkinson’s Association of San Diego. Approximately 75 people with PD and their care partners have participated in the AudAbility program since its inception in 2016.


Read the complete Press Release here.


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