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In BMC neurology

BACKGROUND : Residual motor deficits of the upper limb in patients with chronic stroke are common and have a negative impact on autonomy, participation and quality of life. Music-Supported Therapy (MST) is an effective intervention to enhance motor and cognitive function, emotional well-being and quality of life in chronic stroke patients. We have adapted the original MST training protocol to a home-based intervention, which incorporates increased training intensity and variability, group sessions, and optimisation of learning to promote autonomy and motivation.

METHODS : A randomised controlled trial will be conducted to test the effectiveness of this enriched MST (eMST) protocol in improving motor functions, cognition, emotional well-being and quality of life of chronic stroke patients when compared to a program of home-based exercises utilizing the Graded Repetitive Arm Supplementary Program (GRASP). Sixty stroke patients will be recruited and randomly allocated to an eMST group (n = 30) or a control GRASP intervention group (n = 30). Patients will be evaluated before and after a 10-week intervention, as well as at 3-month follow-up. The primary outcome of the study is the functionality of the paretic upper limb measured with the Action Research Arm Test. Secondary outcomes include other motor and cognitive functions, emotional well-being and quality of life measures as well as self-regulation and self-efficacy outcomes.

DISCUSSION : We hypothesize that patients treated with eMST will show larger improvements in their motor and cognitive functions, emotional well-being and quality of life than patients treated with a home-based GRASP intervention.

TRIAL REGISTRATION : The trial has been registered at and identified as NCT04507542 on 8 August 2020.

Grau-Sánchez Jennifer, Segura Emma, Sanchez-Pinsach David, Raghavan Preeti, Münte Thomas F, Palumbo Anna Marie, Turry Alan, Duarte Esther, Särkämö Teppo, Cerquides Jesus, Arcos Josep Lluis, Rodríguez-Fornells Antoni


Music therapy, Music-supported therapy, Rehabilitation, Stroke