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Open AccessArticle

The Use of Therapeutic Music Training to Remediate Cognitive Impairment Following an Acquired Brain Injury: The Theoretical Basis and a Case Study

Department of Music, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, ON N2L 3C5, Canada
Healthcare 2020, 8(3), 327; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare8030327
Received: 30 July 2020 / Revised: 23 August 2020 / Accepted: 1 September 2020 / Published: 8 September 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Expanding Scope of Music in Healthcare)
Cognitive impairment is the most common sequelae following an acquired brain injury (ABI) and can have profound impact on the life and rehabilitation potential for the individual. The literature demonstrates that music training results in a musician’s increased cognitive control, attention, and executive functioning when compared to non-musicians. Therapeutic Music Training (TMT) is a music therapy model which uses the learning to play an instrument, specifically the piano, to engage and place demands on cognitive networks in order to remediate and improve these processes following an acquired brain injury. The underlying theory for the efficacy of TMT as a cognitive rehabilitation intervention is grounded in the literature of cognition, neuroplasticity, and of the increased attention and cognitive control of musicians. This single-subject case study is an investigation into the potential cognitive benefit of TMT and can be used to inform a future more rigorous study. The participant was an adult male diagnosed with cognitive impairment as a result of a severe brain injury following an automobile accident. Pre- and post-tests used standardized neuropsychological measures of attention: Trail Making A and B, Digit Symbol, and the Brown– Peterson Task. The treatment period was twelve months. The results of Trail Making Test reveal improved attention with a large decrease in test time on both Trail Making A (−26.88 s) and Trail Making B (−20.33 s) when compared to normative data on Trail Making A (−0.96 s) and Trail Making B (−3.86 s). Digit Symbol results did not reveal any gains and indicated a reduction (−2) in free recall of symbols. The results of the Brown–Peterson Task reveal improved attention with large increases in the correct number of responses in the 18-s delay (+6) and the 36-s delay (+7) when compared with normative data for the 18-s delay (+0.44) and the 36-s delay (−0.1). There is sparse literature regarding music based cognitive rehabilitation and a gap in the literature between experimental research and clinical work. The purpose of this paper is to present the theory for Therapeutic Music Training (TMT) and to provide a pilot case study investigating the potential efficacy of TMT to remediate cognitive impairment following an ABI. View Full-Text
Keywords: music training; acquired brain injury; cognitive rehabilitation; attention; executive function; memory music training; acquired brain injury; cognitive rehabilitation; attention; executive function; memory
MDPI and ACS Style

Jones, C. The Use of Therapeutic Music Training to Remediate Cognitive Impairment Following an Acquired Brain Injury: The Theoretical Basis and a Case Study. Healthcare 2020, 8, 327. https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare8030327

AMA Style

Jones C. The Use of Therapeutic Music Training to Remediate Cognitive Impairment Following an Acquired Brain Injury: The Theoretical Basis and a Case Study. Healthcare. 2020; 8(3):327. https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare8030327

Chicago/Turabian Style

Jones, Cheryl. 2020. "The Use of Therapeutic Music Training to Remediate Cognitive Impairment Following an Acquired Brain Injury: The Theoretical Basis and a Case Study" Healthcare 8, no. 3: 327. https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare8030327

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Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

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