Experiences of participation in rhythm and movement therapy after stroke

Disabil Rehabil. 2014;36(22):1869-74. doi: 10.3109/09638288.2013.876107. Epub 2014 Jan 9.


Purpose: The aim of this study was to investigate how persons with stroke experience participation in rhythm and music therapy.

Methods: To gain knowledge of the qualitatively different ways persons with stroke experience participation in Ronnie Gardiner Rhythm and Music (RGRM) therapy, a phenomenographic approach was chosen. Interviews with 17 persons with stroke were done. Selection criteria were set to capture the variations in how the phenomenon appeared to the informants.

Results: Two qualitatively different ways of experiencing the RGRM therapy were identified: (A) challenge leading to connection with the body and (B) being able. A feeling of being connected to the body was achieved as a result of the challenging tasks. By gaining a feeling of body awareness joy, energy and desire to do things increased. Learning new skills was promoted by having to be concentrated during therapy sessions and a sense of being able to carry out difficult tasks was achieved.

Conclusions: Participation in RGRM seems to have helped the persons come to terms with their changed bodies, leading to feelings of being connected with their bodies. A feeling of change in competence occurred when an ability to carry out the tasks was simultaneously achieved.

Implications for rehabilitation: Stroke may cause considerable functional limitations with needs of rehabilitation services as a consequence. Participation in rhythm and movement activities may help persons who have had a stroke come to terms with their "new" bodies. The rhythm and movement activities were considered demanding and helped return to a meaningful life.

Keywords: Body awareness; movement therapy; participation; stroke.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Attitude to Health
  • Body Image
  • Dance Therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Stroke / psychology*
  • Stroke Rehabilitation*