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October 2021

Music conditioning before pure-tone screening of severely and profoundly retarded adults

Author(s): Downs, D. W., Kallay, V.

Journal/Book: Journal of Music Therapy. 1986; 23: Silver Spring, Maryland, USA. National Association for Music Therapy. 142-156.

Abstract: This study compared the effects of music conditioning and audiometric conditioning on the pure-tone hearing screening performance of severely and profoundly mentally retarded adults. Forty subjects, unsuccessfully screened during previous hearing tests, were conditioned in small groups to tones either from a piano played by a music therapist or from an audiometer and loudspeaker operated by an audiologist. After three fifteen-minute conditioning sessions, another audiologist successfully screened 87.5% of the subjects to pure tones. Screening success was associated with the subjects' ability to be conditioned, while screening effectiveness and efficiency differed insignificantly between musiclly and audiometrically conditioned subjects. Conclusions are as follows: (a) contrary to some reports, most severely and profoundly retarded adults can be successfully screened with pure tones, (b) proper conditioning may supersede stimulus abstraction for screening success, (c) conditioning in groups is effective and efficient, and (d) music therapists may be helpful in the conditioning process.

Keyword(s): music, conditioning, pure-tone, screening-tests, mental-retardation, developmental-disabilities, audiology, severe-mental-retardation.

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