Home-based neurologic music therapy for arm hemiparesis following stroke: results from a pilot, feasibility randomized controlled trial

Clin Rehabil. 2018 Jan;32(1):18-28. doi: 10.1177/0269215517717060. Epub 2017 Jun 23.


Objective: To assess the feasibility of a randomized controlled trial to evaluate music therapy as a home-based intervention for arm hemiparesis in stroke.

Design: A pilot feasibility randomized controlled trial, with cross-over design. Randomization by statistician using computer-generated, random numbers concealed in opaque envelopes.

Setting: Participants' homes across Cambridgeshire, UK.

Subjects: Eleven people with stroke and arm hemiparesis, 3-60 months post stroke, following discharge from community rehabilitation.

Interventions: Each participant engaged in therapeutic instrumental music performance in 12 individual clinical contacts, twice weekly for six weeks.

Main measures: Feasibility was estimated by recruitment from three community stroke teams over a 12-month period, attrition rates, completion of treatment and successful data collection. Structured interviews were conducted pre and post intervention to establish participant tolerance and preference. Action Research Arm Test and Nine-hole Peg Test data were collected at weeks 1, 6, 9, 15 and 18, pre and post intervention by a blinded assessor.

Results: A total of 11 of 14 invited participants were recruited (intervention n = 6, waitlist n = 5). In total, 10 completed treatment and data collection.

Conclusion: It cannot be concluded whether a larger trial would be feasible due to unavailable data regarding a number of eligible patients screened. Adherence to treatment, retention and interview responses might suggest that the intervention was motivating for participants.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov identifier NCT 02310438.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02310438.

Keywords: Home care; arm; feasibility; hemiparesis; music therapy; rehabilitation; stroke.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Home Care Services*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Music Therapy*
  • Paresis / etiology
  • Paresis / rehabilitation*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Stroke / complications*
  • Stroke Rehabilitation*
  • Treatment Outcome

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT02310438