Music therapy to promote interpersonal interactions in early paediatric neurorehabilitation

Music therapy to promote interpersonal interactions in early paediatric neurorehabilitation

Abstract

Interpersonal relationships are fundamental in successful neurorehabilitation (Gilbertson & Aldridge, 2008). However, an acquired brain injury has the potential to impact on an individual's ability to engage in interpersonal relationships, and subsequently, their potential to successfully participate in functional rehabilitation. This paper presents a clinical case study in which a paediatric patient with an acquired brain injury had the ability to talk but was unable to successfully interact with people. It is argued that the prosodic elements of music were successfully employed to initially engage the patient in musical interactions and subsequently combined music therapy/speech pathology interventions provided the patient with a non-verbal vehicle to rehearse interactive skills. This focus on increasing social capacity was fundamental in promoting engagement in functional speech rehabilitation for this patient. Literature from the clinical areas of paediatric and adult ABI, music neuropsychology and infant development are discussed as a theoretical basis for suggesting that music therapy can promote interpersonal relationships in early paediatric neurorehabilitation.

 

Keywords: Music therapy, brain injury, paediatric, interpersonal interactions, speech rehabilitation


Citation

Bower, J., & Shoemark, H. (2009). Music therapy to promote interpersonal interactions in early paediatric neurorehabilitation. Australian Journal of Music Therapy, 20, 59-75.


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Date published: July 2009