Does a customized musical song promote a more positive experience vs. rhythmic auditory stimulation when used to enhance walking for people with Parkinson's Disease?
External auditory cueing has been shown to improve gait for individuals with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Rhythmic Auditory Stimulation (RAS) uses a fixed beat while other strategies rely on a musical composition. Despite the extensive research on mobility with auditory cues, there has been little research that addresses the perceived benefits of music and the preferred method of stimulation. The Synchronized Optimization Auditory Rehabilitation (SOAR) tool is a new approach to simulate auditory cueing in the form of music. The purpose of this study was to answer the question, “Do participants report a higher level of satisfaction and motivation when using the SOAR tool as compared to RAS or no auditory cue during ambulation?” Participants ambulated with no auditory cueing, metronome, and music customized by the SOAR tool. The investigator asked open-ended questions during a semistructured face-to-face interview session with each participant after the training. All participants preferred music to RAS and felt music best impacted walking. The emerging themes were auditory effects and utility that included the subthemes of motor impact, nonmotor impact, and issues within the testing and home environment. The perception was that music contributed to improved spatio-temporal parameters, balance, coordination, motivation, and happiness.
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