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Using neurologic music therapy (NMT) during COVID-19:​ A mixed-methods analysis of online survey reports

Using neurologic music therapy (NMT) during COVID-19:​ A mixed-methods analysis of online survey reports

Presenter Name:Marija Pranjić

School/Affiliation:University of Toronto

Co-Authors:Lauren Cole, Nicole Richard, Gloria Tian, Kyurim Kang, Tara Henechowicz, Corene Hurt-Thaut


Purpose: This cross-sectional survey investigated the experiences of Neurologic Music Therapy (NMT) Therapists’ regarding the transition of services from in-person to telehealth to 1) identify factors for successful online delivery, 2) identify factors for continuity in patient-client relationships and therapeutic goals, and 3) describe how telehealth alters clinical practice.

Methods: An online survey with forty-nine closed and open-ended questions was distributed by the Academy of Neurologic Music Therapy to 3200 NMT affiliates worldwide. The survey sought information on demographics, telehealth perceptions, technology, assessment, clinical practice, safety, and caregiver involvement. Quantitative and qualitative analyses were applied.

Results: Eighty-one participants answered the survey and seventy were included in the analysis. In telehealth relative to in-person sessions, fewer NMTs implemented motor techniques, ꭓ2 (2) = 6.08, =.048. The frequency of using NMT techniques in telehealth was positively correlated with continuation of services, rs(13)=-.29, =.04; telehealth perceptions,

rs(13)=.30, =.03; and future use of telehealth, rs(13)=.29, =.03. Age was negatively correlated with the telehealth perceptions, rs(13)=-.33, p=.02. Caregiver involvement was more frequent in telehealth versus in-person, z = -5.54, p <.001. Qualitative analysis revealed that safety concerns for motor interventions and technical difficulties were significant barriers in telehealth.

Conclusions: Frequency of NMT techniques usage and age are significant factors for successful transition from in-person to telehealth. Safety concerns and technology were identified as challenges. Implications include determining clinical practice guidelines for NMT telehealth and providing continuity of treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

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