Neurologic Music Therapy significantly improves patients with an acquired brain injury

Chroma’s Neurologic Music Therapy (NMT) work at Willowbeck Care Home is resulting in significant improvements in the treatment of patients with an acquired brain injury,

Commissioned by Exemplar Health Care, service users with complex needs such as an acquired brain injury (through accident or illness), intellectual disability or those with mental health problems are given music therapy sessions to aid their rehabilitation.

A recent evaluation of the program found that 74 % of service user participants met their targeted goals. Example goals set included:

  • Goal: Extending the distance I can reach forward to touch an object (both arms) – extension of shoulder and elbow joints, moving arms and hands with control.
  • Outcome: Playing the piano or drums when they are positioned further away in front of me – shoulder and elbow joints able to extend with control, allowing hands to move forward functionally.

The music therapy intervention also helped participants aims improved their emotional and mental health, with service user’s reporting that their mood increased and 9/10 wanted more NMT sessions.

Techniques used during the project included Patterned Sensory Enhancement (PSE); Therapeutic Instrumental Music Performance (TIMP); Symbolic Communication Training through Music (SYCOM); Oral and Motor Respiratory Exercises (OMREX); Musical Executive Function Training (MEFT); Music Psychotherapeutic Counselling (MPC) and Sensory-based group work.

The Willowbeck Neurologic Music Therapy program has once again proved that NMT is the best intervention to support the range of rehabilitation needs and by attending just one session per week for 12 weeks, service users have made significant changes that will impact on their everyday lives.

For example, one service user who played the guitar before his accident which had left him paralysed, found that through NMT he was able to increase his reach with his arms and hands by working with the drums and piano to keep up with a particular rhythm or beat.

Commenting on the program a spokesperson from Exemplar Health Care commented: “Clients, their family members and colleagues have all given positive feedback and we’ve seen some real improvements in the quality of life to those living with an acquired brain injury.”

If you are an outstanding healthcare professional that is inspiring change within the healthcare sector, remember to submit your entry to Advancing Healthcare Awards (AHA’s) 2020.

Chroma is a proud sponsor of the Excellence in Neurorehabilitation Award in association with INPA.