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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