Findings of an audit of music therapy referrals in a specialist in-patient setting for 16 patients with advancing Huntington's Disease

Findings of an audit of music therapy referrals in a specialist in-patient setting for 16 patients with advancing Huntington's Disease

Abstract

This article details the findings of an audit of referrals to a music therapy service in a specialist in-patient setting for 16 patients with advancing Huntington's Disease. Thirteen out of the sixteen patients were referred to music therapy; three were not referred. The findings indicated that the mean age at diagnosis of those referred was 45.62 years (SD = 10.73), and for those not referred 33.33 years (SD = 7.02). The mean age at time of referral was 60.54 years (SD = 9.35), and for those not referred 51 years (SD = 9). Comparisons between the mean ages of the two groups at time of referral revealed no significant difference (p = 0.13). However, those that were not referred were on average substantially younger than those referred. A strong relationship between age and age at diagnosis (r =0.85) was highlighted, and when a t-test to assess whether the average age at diagnosis was associated with whether a referral to music therapy was made or not during the time of the audit, the result was approaching significance (p = 0.08). Calculations of percentages resulted in identifying that patients were most likely to be referred due to a need for emotional expression (n = 10; 29%), and maintenance of communication skills and social relationships (n = 9; 26%). Infrequent referrals were made due to occupation (n = 5; 14%), physical presentation (n = 4; 11%), behaviour (n= 4; 11%), and cognitive factors (n = 3; 9%). The findings of the audit are discussed and compared with the literature to assist with understanding the role of music therapy with this population.

 

Keywords: music therapy, Huntington's Disease, audit


Citation

Daveson, B. A. (2007). Findings of an audit of music therapy referrals in a specialist in-patient setting for 16 patients with advancing Huntington's Disease. Australian Journal of Music Therapy, 18, 2-19.


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Date published: July 2007