Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Cindy Flom-Meland


Stroke,Stroke Rehabilitation, Music Therapy


Background and Purpose: Strokes are the fifth leading cause of death in the United States and nearly 800,000 people suffered from a stroke last year alone. Even though two-thirds of those people had survived, many of the survivors were left with a number of activity limitations and participation restrictions. The research is extensive in the realm of physical therapy interventions and how it can help with those disabilities, but truly lacks the knowledge behind the effects of a collaboration of music therapy with physical therapy.

Case Description: This case study follows an 85-year-old woman with lasting chronic impairments from a right cerebrovascular accident four years ago to measure the effects of a 13-week interdisciplinary intervention program.

Interventions: Following an initial evaluation, the client performed 11 one-hour treatment sessions over an 11-week period. The patient was co-treated during each session by two music therapy students and two physical therapy students under the guidance and direction of a licensed music therapist and a licensed physical therapist. Interventions included gait training with rhythmic auditory stimulation, lower extremity strengthening, proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) patterns, balance training and core vii stability with musical components such as Rhythmic Auditory Stimulation (RAS), Patterned Sensory Enhancement (PSE) and Therapeutic Instrumental Music Performance/Playing (TIMP).

Outcomes: After 11 weeks of music and physical therapy collaborative interventions, the client was reassessed, and outcomes were recorded. The client demonstrated increased competency for the Berg Balance Scale, decreased the amount of assist for transfers for all functional outcome measures, decreased time with Five Time Sit to Stand test and showed increase response and awareness of metronome during GaitRITE ®.

Discussion: Collaboration of treatment between music therapy and physical therapy improved functional mobility, sitting and standing balance, decreased assist with transfers and increased awareness of RAS (Rhythmic Auditory Stimulation) in gait, with this client with a Chronic Stroke.