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Development of the music therapy assessment Tool for advanced Huntington’s disease: A pilot validation study

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  • Julian O'Kelly, Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability/Queen Mary University, London, United Kingdom
  • Rebeka Bodak
Background: Case studies of people with Huntington's disease (HD) report that music therapy provides a range of benefits that may improve quality of life; however, no robust music therapy assessment tools exist for this population. Objective: Develop and conduct preliminary psychometric testing of a music therapy assessment tool for patients with advanced HD. Methods: First, we established content and face validity of the Music Therapy Assessment Tool for Advanced HD (MATA-HD) through focus groups and field testing. Second, we examined psychometric properties of the resulting MATA-HD in terms of its construct validity, internal consistency, and inter-rater and intra-rater reliability over 10 group music therapy sessions with 19 patients. Results: The resulting MATA-HD included a total of 15 items across six subscales (Arousal/Attention, Physical Presentation, Communication, Musical, Cognition, and Psychological/Behavioral). We found good construct validity (r ≥ 0.7) for Mood, Communication Level, Communication Effectiveness, Choice, Social Behavior, Arousal, and Attention items. Cronbach's α of 0.825 indicated good internal consistency across 11 items with a common focus of engagement in therapy. The inter-rater reliability (IRR) Intra-Class Coefficient (ICC) scores averaged 0.65, and a mean intra-rater ICC reliability of 0.68 was obtained. Further training and retesting provided a mean of IRR ICC of 0.7. Conclusion: Preliminary data indicate that the MATA-HD is a promising tool for measuring patient responses to music therapy interventions across psychological, physical, social, and communication domains of functioning in patients with advanced HD.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Music Therapy
Pages (from-to)232-256
Number of pages33
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jun 2016

    Research areas

  • Assessment tools, Huntington's disease, Music therapy, Validation

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