Motivating Stroke Rehabilitation Through Music: A Feasibility Study Using Digital Musical Instruments in the Home

Kirk, Pedro; Grierson, Mick; Bodak, Rebeka; Ward, Nick; Brander, Fran; Kelly, Kate; Newman, Nicholas and Stewart, Lauren. 2016. 'Motivating Stroke Rehabilitation Through Music: A Feasibility Study Using Digital Musical Instruments in the Home'. In: Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. San Francisco, United States. [Conference or Workshop Item]

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Abstract or Description

Digital approaches to physical rehabilitation are becoming increasingly common and embedding these new technologies within a musical framework may be particularly motivating. The current feasibility study aimed to test if digital musical instruments (DMIs) could aid in the self-management of stroke rehabilitation in the home, focusing on seated forward reach movements of the upper limb. Participants (n=3), all at least 11 months post stroke, participated in 15 researcher-led music making sessions over a 5 week intervention period. The sessions involved them 'drumming' to the beat of self-chosen tunes using bespoke digital drum pads that were synced wirelessly to an iPad App and triggered percussion sounds as feedback. They were encouraged to continue these exercises when the researcher was not present. The results showed significant levels of self-management and significant increases in functional measures with some evidence for transfer into tasks of daily living.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


auditory feedback, digital musical interfaces, entrainment, self-management, stroke rehabilitation

Departments, Centres and Research Units:



18 April 2016Published
4 February 2015Accepted

Event Location:

San Francisco, United States

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

26 May 2016 07:11

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 16:18


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