A Systematic literature review of the effect of music therapy on psychological outcomes in aphasia


  • TingYi Lu Florida State University
  • Rachel Goff-Albritton Florida State University
  • Alice-Ann Darrow Florida State University
  • Elizabeth Madden Florida State University




music therapy, aphasia, stroke, psychological outcomes, systematic review


Aphasia is a language disorder caused most commonly by a stroke or traumatic brain injury, affecting approximately two million Americans in the United States.  Impaired language function hinders one’s ability to communicate and interact with others, leading to psychological changes, such as post-stroke depression. Music Therapy has been integral in post-stroke rehabilitation. Music-based interventions not only improve motor and cognitive functions but have also been shown to improve psychological outcomes. The purpose of this systematic literature review is to describe current research on psychological outcomes from music-based interventions for persons with aphasia, summarize therapy outcomes, and evaluate the quality of the research. Eight studies meeting criteria were included in this review. The participant characteristics, interventions, and formal and informal assessments were described for each study. The methodological quality across studies was highly varied. Overall, gains in psychological outcomes were demonstrated; however, outcomes varied within and among therapy approaches. We suggest that future research focus on continued attention to investigate the psychological impact of music-based interventions and improve overall methodological rigor through standardized protocols and assessments.

Author Biographies

TingYi Lu, Florida State University

TingYi "Tina" Lu is an InterVarsity Campus Minister in Tallahassee and Presidential Scholar '22 who studied Music Therapy and Piano Pedagogy at Florida State University.

Rachel Goff-Albritton, Florida State University

Rachel Goff-Albritton, PhD, CCC-SLP, is a research development professional in the Office of Research at the Florida State University and an adjunct faculty member in the FSU School of Communication Science and Disorders. 

Alice-Ann Darrow, Florida State University

Alice-Ann Darrow, PhD, Music Education at the Florida State University and past Irvin Cooper Professor of Music Therapy.

Elizabeth Madden, Florida State University

Elizabeth Brookshire Madden, PhD, CCC-SLP, is an assistant professor in the School of Communication Science and Disorders at the Florida State University. 





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