More from Music: development and evaluation of a music rehabilitation programme with adult cochlear

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08 April 2013

Presenter(s): Dr Rachel Van Besouw
Time: 13.00 -14.00
Location: NHBRU, Meeting Room 1


Many cochlear implant (CI) users wish to enjoy music but are dissatisfied by its quality as perceived through their implant. Although there is evidence to suggest that training can improve CI users’ perception and appraisal of music, provision of interactive music rehabilitation materials that have been developed with and tested by CI users remains limited. In response to this need, an ‘interactive music awareness programme’ is being developed with adult CI users.

A prototype was developed with feedback from a series of focus groups and music workshops. Twenty-one adult CI users were subsequently recruited to take part in a 24-week randomised controlled crossover trial of the prototype; a programme of 24 x 30 minute computer-based sessions with applications that enable the user to create and manipulate music.

The treatment group received the programme first and completed two sessions per week, followed by a 12-week retention of learning phase during which the control group used the programme. Both groups were assessed at the start (T1), half-way through (T2) and at the end of the trial (T3). Outcome measures included melodic contour identification (MCI), instrument recognition and speech-in-noise perception. Adherence data and feedback for each of the sessions were also collected using an online survey system. Sixteen participants attended all three assessment appointments and 14 of these completed ≥20 sessions.

There were significant time/group interactions for the speech-in-noise and MCI measures at T2, with the treatment group showing greater improvement. However, at T2 and T3 an increase in MCI for the control group could not be observed due to ceiling effects. The time/group interaction for instrument recognition approached significance, and both groups statistically significantly improved in instrument recognition following the 12 week period in which they used the programme. At T3 outcome measures for the treatment group were not statistically significantly different from T2.

Feedback from the trial is being used to improve and extend the programme, which is currently under development as an online resource. In this talk I will present results from the trial, findings from qualitative analysis of user feedback, the changes that we are making to the programme and our plans for evaluating the online version.

This research is supported by Arts & Humanities Research Council grants AH/H039392/1 and AH/K002880/1.