This small scale study was undertaken as part of the final year undergraduate degree programme at De Montfort University. In 1997 the Norwegian music therapist and author Even Ruud suggested that music was an intrinsic part of everyday life that supported health and wellbeing. The notion that aphasia rehabilitation should encompass more than the repair of language and communication has been supported by living with aphasia therapy advocates such as Lyon (2004) and Pound, Parr, Lindsay & Woolf (2000). This study was designed to investigate whether music function, music activity and music participation were thought to improve the quality of life of people with aphasia.
15 people with aphasia completed a twenty question music interview. The interview was divided into four dimensions. Within each dimension 5 questions were constructed that were designed to elicit information about each area: music function, music activity, music participation and perceived effect on quality of life. The questions in each section were derived from the concepts and vocabulary presented in WHO International Classification of Impairment, Activity and Participation (2002) and the Cruice, Worrall, Hickson and Murison (2003) Communication Related Quality of Life Model. Interview question presentation and response format was derived from the Stroke and Quality of Life Scale-39 designed by Hilari, Byng, Lamping and Smith (2003). Results were analysed statistically to evaluate significant responses to individual questions and significant relationships between dimensions.
Results and Discussion
Statistical analysis identified these significant results. The fifteen people who participated in the study reported that music evoked physiological and psychological changes. Music was perceived as a positive experience that was accessible to the fifteen people with aphasia despite the varying level of functional and physical restriction they experienced following their stroke. Finally statistical analysis revealed that music function was significantly related to perceived quality of life whilst music activity and music participation did not show a significant relationship to quality of life. The results of this small scale study suggest that the ability to include music in everyday life should be viewed as an accessible, beneficial and cost effective addition to the therapy tool kit of those who work alongside people with aphasia to help improve quality of life following stroke and aphasia.||en