Music-oriented parent counseling to promote improvement in level of parental stress, quality of life and the use of music in everyday life among parents of children with autism: A mixed-methods randomized controlled study

Tali Gottfried, Cochavit Elefant, Christian Gold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: Music-Oriented Parent Counseling (MOPC) is a clinical way to work with parents, using musical improvisations and listening. This study examined effects of MOPC on level of stress, quality of life perception and daily use of music by the parents of autistic children. Method: Fourteen parents of young autistic children received either three MOPC sessions (n = 7) or ten MOPC sessions (n = 7), parallel to either music therapy (MT) or standard care for their children. Change in parental stress, parents’ perception on children’s and families’ quality of life and the daily use of music (routine and joint music activities) were measured with standardized assessments and parent interviews. Descriptive and inferential parametric statistics were conducted, as well as thematic analysis. Results: We found little change and no significant effect on parental stress. Children’s quality of life showed improvement with but not without MT and a tendency towards a larger improvement with high-intensity than low-intensity MOPC. Family quality of life showed less change but a somewhat larger improvement in high-intensity than low-intensity MOPC. Routine music activities increased in high-intensity MOPC but decreased in low-intensity MOPC; joint music activities showed less change but a similar trend. Qualitative analysis of the interviews suggested that parents participating in high-intensity MOPC felt less stressed, perceived improved quality of life, and increased music use. Discussion: Findings provide preliminary support for high-intensity MOPC to help parents of autistic children increase children’s and families’ quality of life and music use. More research is needed to confirm these findings.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNordic Journal of Music Therapy
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was completed in partial fulfillment of the first author’s degree of PhD in Music Therapy at Aalborg University, Denmark. The participants of this study were all recruited for a larger randomized controlled trial (the TIME-A trial, ISRCTN78923965), which was funded by the Research Council of Norway (project number 213844). The authors would like to thank the participants for kindly completing the assessments and participating in semi-structured interviews. The authors would like to thank the collaborators for providing and collecting the data for this study: The Israeli TIME-A team and the TIME-A study group from GAMUT, Norway.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 GAMUT–The Grieg Academy Music Therapy Research Centre.

Keywords

  • Autism
  • family-centered services
  • music in everyday life
  • music therapy
  • parent support
  • randomized trials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatric Mental Health
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Complementary and alternative medicine

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