A systematic review of melodic intonation therapy that involved music therapists

May 2023
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The purpose of this systematic review was to evaluate Melodic Intonation Therapy research (MIT) that included music therapists. The researcher sought to identify the number of studies that included at least one music therapist, their role in research, and their contributions. This study was designed according to Cooper’s (1998) stepwise process for synthesizing research. A literature search was conducted of MIT studies that included music therapists published between January 1973 to July 2022. The data was collected in accordance with a two-phase evaluation of inclusion and exclusion criteria and a PRISMA flow diagram. The data was rated on risks of bias, level of evidence, and strength of evidence. Based on the results, only 14 studies (N = 14) involved at least one music therapist. Music therapists most frequently had the role of author and practitioner (n = 4) and practitioner only (n = 4). Music therapists were less involved as co-practitioners with paraprofessionals (n = 3). The ratings for level of evidence were lower, with the majority of studies rated at 2B (n= 5), because of the low number of participants in all studies. Nevertheless, music therapists contributed to research by testing modified versions of MIT for a wide range of diagnoses. Notable diagnoses were developmental apraxia of speech (DAS) and children with Down syndrome since a version of MIT did not exist for children. Furthermore, music therapists used their professional competencies to make music-based modifications. The results of each study indicated that modified versions of MIT were effective in improving speech output and levels of participation, among other benefits. While a limited amount of research included music therapists, their involvement contributed to the growth of MIT practice

Music Therapy