Adults with neuro-disabling conditions: Exploring the ways music therapy can support residents in a long term care facility
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.