Project: Research project

Project Details


This proposal brings together a new team of neuropsychological and music
therapy collaborators, bridging the scientific study of human behavior
and the medium of music to improve the altered emotional processing of
brain injured persons and their social adjustment. Social and emotional
impairments after brain damage have been identified as the principal
barriers to adjustment, community re-entry and productivity, yet few
methods of treatment have been empirically evaluated. In particular, the
traditional insight-oriented psychotherapeutic approaches have been of
limited success in many brain damaged persons. Hence, the study of
alternative treatment models is imperative.

A one year pilot study is proposed to accomplish 3 aims: (1) establish
a scientific framework for investigating the effectiveness of a music
therapy intervention in the psychosocial adjustment of brain injured
persons; (2) examine the effect of a specific music therapy intervention
on empirical measures of self-perception, empathy, emotional perception,
depression and emotional expression; and (3) identify areas for future
scientific study, including the characteristics of patients who benefit
most from this intervention, the elements of the intervention that effect
therapeutic change, and the cost-effectiveness and long-term benefits of
music therapy interventions on the successful community re-entry of brain
injured persons.

The project is designed to provide an initial three-month period of
regular research meetings among the collaborators to solidify (1) the
theoretic basis and rationale for the expected therapeutic change in
music therapy and (2) the application of empirical social-emotional
measures to detect and characterize that change. Subjects with
documented brain injury will then be randomized to experimental and
control groups, with the experimental group receiving the proposed music
therapy intervention. Pre- to post-intervention test measures will be
statistically analyzed to evaluate differences between the groups. A
follow-up test session 15 weeks later will be completed to establish the
stability of therapeutic changes. This design will provide preliminary
data essential for further scientific study of the effectiveness of music
therapy in the psychosocial adjustment and successful community re-entry
of brain injured persons.
Effective start/end date9/30/939/29/95


  • National Center for Research Resources


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