Promoting social communication through music therapy in children with autism spectrum disorder. Multidimensional investigation: Systematic review, RCT study protocol, treatment guide, feasibility study
This PhD study investigated if and how music therapy may help to promote social communication in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
The study examined several dimensions of this complex field, and includes four articles: (i) a systematic review (Cochrane review) synthesising research evidence on overall effects of music therapy for individuals with ASD; (ii) a study protocol specifying the design of TIME-A, a randomised controlled trial (RCT) examining effects of improvisational music therapy on social communication skills in children with ASD aged 4 to 7; (iii) a treatment guide that describes an international consensus model of improvisational music therapy for children with ASD; and (iv) a feasibility study summarising data from the Viennese pilot cohort of the international multi-centre project TIME-A.
In this way, this study presents feasible ways to combine clinical relevance and rigorous research methodology without compromising either, and to integrate scientific findings in the clinical application of a highly individualised approach.
Through enhancing communication and knowledge transfer between research and clinical practice in music therapy, this study contributes to collaborative efforts of providing more effective and more substantiated health care services for individuals with ASD and other conditions.