Title: Music Therapy Within Brain Injury Rehabilitation: To What Extent is Our Clinical Practice Influenced by the Search for Outcomes?
Author: Magee, Wendy
Abstract: Severe brain injury can leave an individual with profound and complex disabilities. These can include physical, communication, and sensory impairments, emotional and behavioral changes, and often a combination of cognitive deficits, all of which contribute to isolation and loneliness. When working with people who have sustained these types of disabilities, the therapist needs to overcome these tremendous barriers in order to assess how music therapy may best meet the clients needs. However, clinical and therapeutic practitioners are met with various considerations. In a goal-oriented medical setting, can the value of personal expression and the emotional consequence of this expression be reflected in measurable outcomes? Do the clinical procedures selected reflect what best meets the client’s needs or the therapist’s need to measure the effectiveness of their intervention? Outlined are music therapy treatment programs involving two clients with non-verbal brain damage which will compare the strengths of different approaches. This paper aims to highlight how the meaningful ‘achievements’ in music therapy intervention within a rehabilitation setting can be difficult to communicate as clearly identified ‘outcomes’.