Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Adults with neuro-disabling conditions: Exploring the ways music therapy can support residents in a long term care facility

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posted on 2021-11-15, 11:06 authored by Bolwell, Elizabeth

This exegesis presents findings which emerged from secondary review of clinical practice data collected during a music therapy placement. The setting for this research is a long-term residential care facility for people with a variety of physical and neurological conditions, including cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, stroke and multiple sclerosis, aged 18 to 65. The aim of the facility is to maximise the quality of life for people with physical disabilities and those with terminal illnesses. The research aim was to develop theory about how music therapy can provide support to people with long term neurological conditions. Thematic analysis was employed to develop core themes about the support that music therapy has provided. These findings are presented under the following six themes: building relationships, collaborative practices, fostering community, acknowledging diversity, emotional support and musical engagement. These themes all focus on relatedness, and the quality of life of individuals, groups and the community. They also indicate the value of a flexible community-centred approach for delivering music therapy. A vignette from clinical practice is included to illustrate important points made in the exegesis. The study complements other music therapy research situated within a health-care perspective and could offer particular significance for new music therapy practitioners looking to understand and work with people with neuro-disabilities in long term care facilities.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Music Therapy

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Music Therapy

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code


Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

New Zealand School of Music


Hoskyns, Sarah