The influence of music therapy on quality of life after a stroke
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Institute of Psychology, University of Gdansk, Gdansk, Poland
Submission date: 2016-08-29
Final revision date: 2016-11-02
Acceptance date: 2016-11-03
Online publication date: 2017-01-23
Publication date: 2017-01-20
Health Psychology Report 2017;5(2):173–185
A stroke is an interruption in the course of one’s life. It often results in physical disability, cognitive or executive disorders, emotional problems and, as a consequence, the decrease of one’s quality of life. The goal of this research was to determine whether music therapy during neurorehabilitation can positively influence the assessment of one’s quality of life after a stroke.

Participants and procedure
Sixty-one people who had had strokes and were in the early stages of neurorehabilitation in a hospital took part in the research (n = 31 in the control group and n = 30 in the experimental group). All of them were physically disabled and had either minor cognitive and executive disabilities or none at all. People were randomly assigned to groups. Those in the experimental group participated in a one-on-one music therapy programme divided into 10 sessions based on guided imagery music therapy and cognitive music therapy. The first measurement of quality of life took place at the beginning of the hospital stay at the department of neurorehabilitation (about 1 month after the stroke) and the second took place about 1.5 months later.
Analysis of the results showed that participation in the music therapy programme was associated with a higher assessment of quality of life in the following aspects: general health, vitality, mental health, communication, emotional condition, and alertness. However, taking part in the music therapy had no influence on the assessment of quality of life in the areas of pain, limitation of social roles, relationships, self-care, mobility, and taking care of the house.

Stroke survivors who took part in music therapy assess their quality of life as higher compared to patients who did not take part in music therapy.
Music therapy could constitute a supplementary method of treatment for patients during neurorehabilitation after a stroke, thus improving their quality of life.
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