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October 2021

Measurement problems in applied music therapy research

Journal/Book: Journal of British Music Therapy. 1987; 1: 6-10.

Abstract: This paper concentrates on so-called ´applied reserarch´ - that is the primary interest is in evaluating the effects of music therapy onour clients. The discussion is not about research on theoretical issues and processes of music therapy - although clearly these are important - but is more concerned with the "naive" question. "Does it work?" The aim is to provide a brief, conceptual analysis of what we mean by this question and look at some of the problems that are encountered in trying to answer it. In particular the focus is on some of the problems of measuring response to music therapy. This will be examined in the context of questions of experimental design, although clearly not all aspects of designing an interpreting experiments can be covered in one paper. Especial consideration will be given to how failure to solve some of the measurement problems can invalidate the conclusions drawn from experiments.

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