A pilot study : the effectiveness of music therapy in managing challenging behaviors of people with intellectual disabilities

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A pilot study : the effectiveness of music therapy in managing challenging behaviors of people with intellectual disabilities

 

Author: Luk, Wai-yin Becky.
Title: A pilot study : the effectiveness of music therapy in managing challenging behaviors of people with intellectual disabilities
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 2006
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Music therapy
People with mental disabilities -- Behavior modification
Department: Dept. of Rehabilitation Sciences
Pages: xi, 86 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm.
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b1986363
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/5377
Abstract: Overseas literature indicates that about 5 - 15% people with intellectual disabilities tended to have challenging behaviors which hinder their self-development and social integration. Challenging behaviors of people with intellectual disabilities are also the foremost source of stress for service providers and caregivers. This study aimed at investigating the effects of music therapy in managing challenging behaviors of people with intellectual disabilities. It adopted the one-group pretest-posttest research design, and qualitative data were also collected. Six adults with moderate to severe intellectual disabilities who had challenging behaviors in a residential setting of a non-governmental organization were recruited as the research subjects. They attended a 16-session music therapy program conducted by a registered music therapist. The Chinese Version of the Aberrant Behavior Checklist (ABC-C) was adopted to measure the behavioral change of the research subjects before and after the music therapy program. Frequency of the challenging behaviors occurred in the residential setting was also recorded. Qualitative data included (1) Staff observation on the behavioral performance of the research subjects during the music therapy sessions; (2) Focus group discussion with eight staff members on the behavioral changes outside the music therapy sessions; and (3) Comments from the music therapist. Data from the ABC-C and the Challenging Behavior Record Sheet were statistically insignificant with all the p-value of 5 domains as well as the mean of pre and post intervention all greater than 0.05. However, the feedback from the music therapist and staff members suggested that there were improvements of the research subjects in the areas of emotional control, adaptive behavior and challenging behavior. The research subjects were found to show interest in music and music related activities. Positive facial expression and interactive communication of the research subjects were observed by the staff members. The preliminary findings of this pilot study revealed that music therapy might have therapeutic value in promoting the development of adaptive and positive behaviors of people with intellectual disabilities. The limitations of this pilot study were small sample size and the other confounding variables such as the implementation of other structured programs in this residential setting. Randomized clinical trials are recommended to further evaluate the effectiveness of music therapy in managing challenging behaviors of people with intellectual disabilities.

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