We are grateful to the following institutions who have provided funds to support different aspects of this project:
The Arnold Bentley New Initiatives grant will be used (as co-financing) to bring the process of disseminating research findings to life by live-streaming a music concert for which the programme will be based on recent research on the use of music in everyday life by people with Parkinson's in the UK. The concert will be produced in tandem with the Royal Northern College of Music (UK).
The consultation study (co-financed by Parkinson Schweiz) will include a mixed methods study of the use of music by Swiss people with Parkinson's and explore ways Swiss people with Parkinson's (German, Italian and French speaking areas) would like to see music used to improve their quality of life. A series of workshops will elaborate on these findings to develop context appropriate materials for a new music-based intervention protocol. A new web-based resource, 'Playlist for Parkinson's', will be developed as a public resource, and best practice materials will be developed for allied health professionals and future research.
Intervention Development and Testing
A UK consultation process and full randomized control trial (RCT; co-financed by SNF) will explore cross-cultural application and consider the generalizability of music use to improve quality of life for people with Parkinson's. A new measurement protocol involving motion capture and pressure sensitive gait mat technology will be developed to provide quantitative support for clinical and standardized measures. The findings from all studies will then be synthesized as one intervention protocol to be tested in a randomized controlled trial with sites in Luzern, Lugano and London. Throughout the process, people with Parkinson's and practitioners will continue to be consulted, feeding qualitative findings back in to produce the best possible multi-modal music-based intervention to improve neurorehabilitation in Parkinson's care.
Overall, this project lays the groundwork for the development of a low-cost, low-resource group-based intervention that can be adapted for implementation in community spaces (such as church halls) and will not only increase accessibility by reducing costs per participant, but also invite the involvement of family and friends, thereby raising awareness of Parkinson's and reducing the personal and social stigmas associated with the condition, which many people find isolating. Such a community approach to using music and movement to connect people is thought to be part of the evolutionary heritage of music. The inclusive development process, reciprocal learning and multi-disciplinary knowledge-share embedded in the project will foster transdisciplinary dialogue, providing a model for health organizations and policymakers to consider the impact of music in Parkinson's care, providing a legacy beyond this project's duration.