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BioPsychoSocial Medicine

, 8:11

First Online: 21 May 2014Received: 05 August 2013Accepted: 12 May 2014

Abstract

BackgroundThe 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.

MethodsForty-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.

ResultsThe 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.

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

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1751-0759-8-11 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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