Pei-Luen Tsai, Mei-Ching Chen, Yu-Ting Huang, Keh-Chung Lin, Kuan-Lin Chen, Yung-Wen Hsu; Listening to Classical Music Ameliorates Unilateral Neglect After Stroke. Am J Occup Ther 2013;67(3):328–335. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2013.006312
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© 2021 American Occupational Therapy Association
OBJECTIVE. We determined whether listening to excerpts of classical music ameliorates unilateral neglect (UN) in stroke patients.
METHOD. In this within-subject study, we recruited and separately tested 16 UN patients with a right-hemisphere stroke under three conditions within 1 wk. In each condition, participants were asked to complete three subtests of the Behavioral Inattention Test while listening to classical music, white noise, or nothing. All conditions and the presentation of the tests were counterbalanced across participants. Visual analog scales were used to provide self-reported ratings of arousal and mood.
RESULTS. Participants generally had the highest scores under the classical music condition and the lowest scores under the silence condition. In addition, most participants rated their arousal as highest after listening to classical music.
CONCLUSION. Listening to classical music may improve visual attention in stroke patients with UN. Future research with larger study populations is necessary to validate these findings.
Classical music and white noise have differential effects on ameliorating UN, and listening to classical music might have more benefits for UN patients.
Listening to classical music is noninvasive, inexpensive, and more cost-effective than other treatments for UN. It is a feasible treatment modality and can easily be used in a clinical setting or at home to improve visual attention performance of UN patients.
Listening to classical music is one type of intervention based on bottom-up mechanisms for UN, which involve using sensory stimulation to improve visual attention on the neglect side and may be more appropriate than other treatments for UN patients without explicit awareness of their symptoms (Frassinetti, Angeli, Meneghello, Avanzi, & Làdavas, 2002).
Listening to classical music might modulate general arousal levels and attentional control in patients with UN.
Listening to classical music might ameliorate the symptoms of UN on the LBT and the PST subscales of the BIT.
White noise also might alleviate UN, but it was less effective than classical music.
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