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Are music-based interventions helpful for people with visual impairment?

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Music-based interventions hold promise for improving the psychosocial well-being of individuals with visual impairment (VI), according to a study.

However, there is a need for caution in drawing definitive conclusions due to the lack of robust outcome measures and statistical analysis in most of the studies reviewed. Overall, while the potential benefits of music-based interventions are evident, further high-quality, evidence-based studies are required to better understand their effectiveness and to ensure their accessibility for individuals with VI.

The study aiming to discern the various forms of music-based interventions and their impact on psychological, physiological, and social well-being among those with VI, analyzed a total of 5082 records, reviewed 69 full-text articles, and ultimately included 13 studies. These studies exhibited a particular focus on 2 distinct demographics – 11 centered on younger children and teenagers, whereas 2 were tailored for adults with acquired VI. The interventions encompassed 10 instances of active music therapy strategies and 3 instances of passive music listening.

A notable aspect of this review was the emphasis on social outcomes, with 11 studies exploring this dimension and 2 studies on mental health. The findings indicated that music-based interventions demonstrated positive impacts on the psychosocial well-being of individuals with VI. However, the review also uncovered a dearth of robust outcome measures across the studies, with only 4 incorporating statistical analyses, thereby warranting caution in drawing definitive conclusions.

The review highlighted a critical need for greater transparency and specificity in reporting intervention protocols and training requirements.

Reference
Somani N, Beukes E, Street A, et al. Effectiveness of music-based interventions to address well-being in people with a vision impairment: a scoping review. BMJ Open. 2023;13(9):e067502. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2022-067502. PMID: 37709316; PMCID: PMC10503321.

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