NMT helps resolve prolonged serious injury claims following a TBI due to its effectiveness during rehabilitation

By Daniel Thomas, joint managing director, Chroma Therapies

With an estimated 135,000 cases a year of Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) occurring, and with almost half a million 16-74 year olds in the UK living with long term disabilities as a result, it is no wonder serious injury claims are on the rise.

Claims that, through a lack of knowledge concerning the latest developments within rehabilitation modalities, become prolonged. Exploitation of rehabilitation for claims purposes have, and still do, resulted in complaints concerning rehab overspend and overdependence.

This scenario is detrimental to the claimant and their family as in such cases as these, compensation is a necessity. Families of the injured fight for financial reparation to help with aspects such as care costs incurred, loss of earnings, to pay bills, to buy and install specialised equipment in the home to help ‘ease’ daily living for the injured party and the care giver  – and above all else, to seek some sort of justice for their loved one.

Therefore, before the claimants team decides on a POA for rehab, it is of the upmost importance to be informed of all the treatment modalities available to those living with a TBI.

Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy and Psychology are all mainstream, widely accepted treatment modalities for rehab, but many people remain unaware about the enormous benefits Neurologic Music Therapy (NMT) has upon a person living with a brain injury.

NMT is the therapeutic application of music to cognitive, affective, sensory, language and motor dysfunctions due to disease or injury to the human nervous system.

Interestingly, of all senses, it is hearing that remains sharp following a brain injury. Therefore, as long as a patient can hear, music can be used to stimulate responsiveness, which enhances rehabilitation outcomes.

But before a patient can undergo NMT, specialised music therapists use what is known as the MATADOC (music therapy assessment tool for awareness in disorders of consciousness) which uses a patient’s hearing to assess their level of awareness (vegetative, minimally conscious, and emerging from) and then for goal setting and treatment planning. The MATADOC is a proven diagnostic tool which can also be used alongside a SMART assessment.

Neurologic music therapy helps redirect functions, stimulating other areas of the brain in order to relearn skills that were lost as a result of the injury. In fact, through the use of MATADOC, patients have been known to emerge from a vegetative state!

These proven benefits of NMT help highlight the importance (for any legal team handling a serious claim) of having an awareness of Neurologic Music Therapy as an effective rehabilitation modality, its effects, its cost-effectiveness and its ability to transform lives.

Following a TBI, the patient’s mental wellbeing is just as important as the physical, as both aspects go hand in hand to ensure the best possible outcomes of rehabilitation are reached. This is where music is able to take rehabilitation to a whole new level. NMT takes aspects of rehab that may be repetitive & boring causing disengagement from the patient, and makes them interesting – taking focus off something painful. Neurological Music Therapy actually makes rehab more engaging, personalised and relevant, and as a result, can help to improve verbal communication, motor control and cognitive function.

Legal teams, when considering an effective treatment plan for rehabilitation following a TBI, need to be aware of treatments such as NMT in order to move forward with a beneficial, cost-effective treatment plan that does not delay compensation and that also vastly improves rehabilitation outcomes for the patient. And by implementing NMT into the treatment plan, it ensures the patient receives the best possible care for the best possible outcome of their situation.