Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Cindy Flom-Meland


Acoustic Stimulation; Music Therapy; Physical Therapy Modalities; Quality of LIfe; Stroke -- rehabilitation


Background and Purpose: Stroke is one of the leading causes of death in the United States and can cause severe, debilitating, and lasting effects. Although a fair amount of research has been performed on treatment of individuals following a stroke, few studies exist looking at the collaborative efforts of physical therapy and music therapy.

Case Description: This case follows the 13-week interdisciplinary care of an 83-year old female patient with chronic impairments following a cerebrovascular accident suffered approximately 2 years prior.

Interventions: Following an initial evaluation, the patient performed 11 one-hour treatment sessions over an 11-week period. The patient was co-treated during each session by a music therapy student and two physical therapy students under the direction of a licensed music therapist and a licensed physical therapist. Interventions included gait training with rhythmic auditory stimulation, balance training, lower extremity and core strengthening, and overall quality of life through music.

Outcomes: After 11 weeks of interventions the patient was reassessed and outcomes were recorded. The patient demonstrated increased competency on the Berg Balance Scale and Short Form-36 as well as decreased timed up-and-go and 5 Time Sit to Stand times, and an increase in her comfortable gait speed.

Discussion: Collaboration of treatment between music therapy and physical therapy led to improvements in functional mobility, gait speed, and quality of life for this individual with chronic stroke.