The link between singing and respiratory health for people with quadriplegia

The link between singing and respiratory health for people with quadriplegia

Abstract

This article presents rationale and methodology for current music therapy research in spinal cord injury (SCI). Respiratory complications are the leading cause of illness and death following SCI and may cause long term hardship for those living with quadriplegia (DeVivo, Krause, & Lammertse, 1999). Music therapy intervention involving singing training may facilitate increased respiratory muscle strength and control for people with chronic C4-C5 quadriplegia. This, in turn, has implications for long-term respiratory health and voice quality. The effect of SCI on respiratory function and voice is discussed, as is the effect of vocal training on respiratory function. The music therapy literature on respiratory rehabilitation is reviewed and used to strengthen the case for investigation into the effect of singing training on respiratory and voice function in SCI. Finally, the methodology for a rigorous research study on this topic is presented.

 

Keywords: Spinal cord injury, quadriplegia, respiratory function, breathing, speech, singing, voice intensity


Citation

Tamplin, J. (2009). The link between singing and respiratory health for people with quadriplegia. Australian Journal of Music Therapy, 20: 20th Anniversary Special Edition,45-55.


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Date published: September 2009