Effects of Music Therapy on Functional Mobility in Patients with Stroke




Pittmon, William
Liu, Howe
Ping, Miao
Salem, Yasser


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Abstract Effects of Music Therapy on Functional Mobility in Patients with Stroke Introduction and Purpose: Normally human gait activity is a rhythmic movement of left and right lower extremities, but among patients with stroke, such a movement is often significantly affected or disturbed by the hemiparesis. In last 10-20 years, music therapy (MT) has been introduced to treat patients with stroke for improving mood as well as improving gait pattern. However, no consensus has been reached yet among clinicians on how to best utilize music therapy for patients with stroke. Therefore, the purpose of this review was to evaluate of effectiveness of the music therapy by focusing on: type of music, type of patients with stroke, outcome assessments on functional mobility, and intervention parameters for using music therapy. Methods. PubMed and Scopus were used to search literature in last 15 years. Key words to search were stroke rehab, music rehab, cardiovascular accident, hemi paralysis, hemiparesis, music, rhythmic, auditory stimulation, metronome, and gait. Longitudinal studies included randomized control trial, single group study or case study with music therapy as one of the interventions. Results. Five articles qualified for our literature analysis. It was found that listening to rhythmic auditory stimulus (3) was the most favored intervention, followed by listening to a patient’s familiar music (1), and utilizing a metronome synchronizing que in gait training. (1) All of these studies indicated that patients with sub-acute and chronic stroke could benefit more; no acute patients were reported. It revealed that combined use of MT with regular gait training could provide better results than MT alone. The most notable used intervention parameters were: 30 minutes each time, 5 times a week, for a minimum of 3 weeks. In these studies patients demonstrated improvement in gait velocity, stride length, cadence, symmetry, and standing balance as measured by GaitRite. Also it showed that after MT, patients with stroke could improve their balance and functional mobility as measured by Biodex, and 10 meter walking test respectively. Conclusions. Music therapy is an effective and economical intervention for patients with stroke. Patients whom are more likely to benefit are those: with sub-acute stroke and have a lesion supplied by the middle cerebral artery. The MT intervention should be provided at least 5 times a week for minimal 3 weeks and used with functional gait training. Both temporal and spatial gait parameters, balance, mobility, and could be improved with MT.