Eighty-three patients received NMT in conjunction with other rehabilitation therapies, such as physio, speech, language and/or occupational therapies to accelerate their recovery.

The therapy is also designed to help patients effectively manage the emotional demands of life immediately after a stroke.

It was delivered by NMT provider Chroma in partnership with Imperial Health Charity and Imperial Stroke Services.

The nine-month project has seen improved rehabilitation and patient outcomes as well as increased staff and carer use of music as a ward-based activity.

As a result of using music as a treatment modality via NMT, the stroke service saw enhanced holistic goal-setting and improvements in well-being and mood post-session.

There were also improvements in individual patient outcomes across impairment domains (sensorimotor, psychosocial, speech and language, cognitive), with a knock-on effect for some patients on independence in activities of daily life’.

In one treatment, a stroke patient who had difficulty walking and initiating movement saw a mean average increase of 17 per cent in ‘steps per minute’ as a result of rhythmic auditory stimulation that, using a piano accompaniment, helped with imitating movement.

As a result, the patient went from using a frame to walking unassisted in a single session and therapists were able to start referral for early supported discharge*.

Staff on the ward also felt that NMT had enhanced the traditional therapeutic interventions offered and that it had a positive and supportive impact on patients. The vast majority (88 per cent) of staff felt working with the music therapist gave them the chance to learn new skills.

Karima Collins, clinical lead speech and language therapist, says: “Led by a team of occupational, physio, music, and speech and language therapists, the delivery of music therapy has been enthusiastically received by patients, staff, and family members across the ward, and there is now demand for music therapy on both the hyper-acute and in-patient rehabilitation wards.

“As a therapy team, it’s been great to work collaboratively with the music therapist to facilitate greater functional, social and quality of life improvements for patients.”

Daniel Thomas, joint managing director at Chroma, says: “It would be great to be able to extend the project so that we can continue to enhance the use of outcomes measures to track patient progress and seek to empower volunteers and next of kin to increase the intensity of therapy using music as a treatment modality post discharge.”