Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Cindy Flom-Meland


Background and purpose: Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and disability in the United States. Following a stroke, individuals may suffer from a number of severe and lasting adverse effects. Although there is current research to support the use of physical therapy (PT) and music therapy (MT) individually during stroke rehabilitation, few studies have examined collaboration of these two disciplines. The purpose of this case study was to evaluate the effectiveness of combined PT and MT interventions for strength, balance, gait, and functional activity in an adult with chronic stroke.

Case description: The client is a 51-year-old Caucasian female with chronic functional impairments following a right cerebrovascular accident (CVA) secondary to a quadruple coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) occurring three years ago. Intervention. Therapy sessions combined PT and MT techniques provided by two PT students and two MT students. Assessments and interventions were completed in 13 sessions over a 13-week time period. Interventions included strengthening, balance training, pre-gait activities, gait training, and upper extremity (UE) interventions. All interventions were paired with music therapy techniques.

Outcomes: The client had a clinically significant improvement on the Berg Balance Scale improving by 5 points (MCD = 5 points).

Discussion: PT combined with MT led to improvements in balance, functional mobility, and a decreased risk of falls for this individual with chronic stroke. Further research is needed examining combined PT and MT interventions for chronic stroke.