Neurological Rehabilitation Research at Bridgepoint Hospital

Exploring patient experience of volunteer-facilitated music performance

Dr Kevin Komisaruk (University of Toronto)

Dr. Michelle Nelson (University of Toronto, Bridgepoint Collaboratory for Research and Innovation, Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute)

This is an exploratory pilot study currently in progress on the Neuro Rehab unit of Bridgepoint Hospital Toronto, conceived to lay the conceptual and theoretical groundwork to support the development of a clinical trial.

Music listening is noted to have both psychosocial and cognitive benefits for stroke rehabilitation patients, whether mediated by a music therapist or not. In addition, hospital volunteers and staff with latent musical ability have been identified as a valuable and untapped resource to address post-stroke anxiety. This study will pilot outcome measures and explore whether there are clinically meaningful changes to anxiety, patient experience, emotional well-being and functional improvement for individuals with stroke, conditioned by the empathy and musical aptitude of the volunteer; the model for these patient interventions is labelled in this study as “Empathic Musical Performance.”