Music therapy applied to complex blast injury in interdisciplinary care: A case report

Rebecca Vaudreuil*, Luis Avila, Joke Bradt, Paul Pasquina

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Purpose: Music therapy has a long history of treating the physiological, psychological, and neurological injuries of war. Recently, there has been an increase in the use of music therapy and other creative arts therapies in the care of combat injured service members returning to the United States from Iraq and Afghanistan, especially those with complex blast-related injuries. This case report describes the role of music therapy in the interdisciplinary rehabilitation of a severely injured service member. Methods: Music therapy was provided as stand-alone treatment and in co-treatment with speech language pathology, physical therapy, and occupational therapy. The report is based on clinical notes, self-reports by the patient and his wife, and interviews with rehabilitation team members. Results: In collaboration with other treatment disciplines, music therapy contributed to improvements in range of motion, functional use of bilateral upper extremities, strength endurance, breath support, articulation, task-attention, compensatory strategies, social integration, quality of life, and overall motivation in the recovery process. The inclusion of music therapy in rehabilitation was highly valued by the patient, his family, and the treatment team. Conclusions: Music therapy has optimized the rehabilitation of a service member through assisting the recovery process on a continuum from clinic to community.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2333-2342
Number of pages10
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Issue number19
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Complex blast injury
  • Interdisciplinary
  • Military
  • Music therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Rehabilitation
  • Speech language


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