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J11 Can Music Therapy Improve The Quality Of Life In Huntington’s Disease?
  1. M van Bruggen-Rufi1,
  2. RAC Roos2,
  3. W Achterberg1,4,
  4. A Vink2,5
  1. 1Leiden University Medical Center, Albinusdreef 2, 2333 ZA Leiden, The Netherlands
  2. 2ArtEZ School of Music, Van Essengaarde 10, 7511 PN Enschede, The Netherlands
  3. 3Atlant Care Group Apeldoorn/Beekbergen, Kuiltjesweg 1, 7361 TC Beekbergen, The Netherlands
  4. 4Topaz Huntington Center Overduin, Nachtegaallaan 5, 2225 SX Katwijk, The Netherlands
  5. 5KenVak, Zuyd University, Nieuw Eyckholt 300, 6419 PJ Heerlen, The Netherlands


Background Since there is no cure for Huntington’s disease (HD) yet the intention of all forms of treatment is to improve quality of life. All treatment must be individually tailored, as the symptoms and signs are different for each person and change over time. Music therapy (MT) recognises individual needs and can be adapted to meet them. The aim is to maintain function and provide opportunities for compensatory behaviour. In MT functional training can be combined with cognitive, emotional and communicative/relational approaches. Practice based evidence has shown that MT could be a suitable non-pharmacological intervention to improve quality of life in every stage.

Aims This will be the first randomised controlled trial (RCT) to study the efficacy of MT, to be executed in three different long care facilities in The Netherlands, specialised in HD. The aim is to determine whether MT can improve expressive and communicative skills, and if so, whether these improvements lead to behavioural change.

Methods Sixty patients will be included and randomised: the experimental MT and the control group. The basic principle is to challenge expressive and communicative skills.

Results The primary outcome measures are the Behaviour Observation Scale Huntington and the Problem Behaviour Assessment. Assessments will take place at baseline and will be repeated after session 8 and 16, and 3 months after the last intervention.

Conclusions Music therapy is promising for improving QOL in HD, but not evidence based. This study aims to test it’s effectiveness in a RCT.

  • music therapy
  • quality of life
  • randomised controlled trial

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