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Adv Mind Body Med. 2016 Fall;30(4):14-22.

Active Music Therapy and Physical Improvements From Rehabilitation for Neurological Conditions.


Context • A variety of rehabilitation-based interventions are currently available for individuals with physical impairments resulting from neurological conditions, including physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and speech language pathology. Many individuals find participation in those therapies to be challenging. Alternative therapies have emerged as beneficial adjunctive treatments for individuals undergoing neurological rehabilitation, including music therapy (MT). Objective • The study intended to identify and collate systematically the evidence on MT interventions that address physical improvements in a rehabilitative setting. Design • The research team performed a literature review, searching electronic databases from their inception to April 2014, including Embase, CINAHL, PubMed, Scopus, and ProQuest. The review included original studies that examined the use of active MT as an intervention that promotes physical improvements for adults >18 y of age. Articles were excluded if the studies focused primarily on psychosocial, emotional, or spiritual therapeutic goals. The review identified the studies' outcome measures for different populations and the MT approaches and interventions and obtained a general description of the clinical sessions, such as the frequency and duration of the therapy, interventions performed, sessions designs, populations, equipment used, and credentials of the therapists. Results • Eleven studies identified 2 major categories for the delivery of MT sessions: individual and group. One study included group sessions, and 10 studies included individual sessions. The studies included a total of 290 participants, 32 in the group MT, and 258 in the individual MT. The one study that used group therapy was based on active MT improvisation. For the individual therapy, 2 studies had investigated therapeutic instrument music performance and 8 used music-supported therapy. Conclusions • The findings of the review suggested that active MT can improve motor skills and should be considered as a potential adjunctive treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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