The Development of a Research Template to Assist Music Therapy Clinicians in Evidence-Based Practice
University of Kansas
Music Education & Music Therapy
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One of the most prevalent trends in healthcare today is the movement toward evidence-based practice. Evidence-based practice requires that health care providers base their treatment decisions not only on their own professional experiences and their client's needs and values, but also on current quality research outcomes. The American Music Therapy Association has been promoting evidence-based practice among its clinicians through a research initiative created to encourage the use of scholarly research within the profession. The purpose of this study was to develop a research template to assist music therapy clinicians in accessing clinically relevant information from an individual research study and evaluating the quality of that study to participate in evidence-based practice. Development of the research template occurred in three steps. First, the researcher consulted current literature on the topic of evidence-based practice and research to determine content and design of the template. Next, a focus group of five individuals known for their clinical and research expertise in music therapy examined the template and provided suggestions for improvement, as well as validity for the need for such a template in the profession. Finally, a sample group of music therapists completed an Initial Questionnaire (N=14), the research template on an assigned article and two participant-selected articles (n=12), and a Follow-Up Questionnaire (n=11). Thirty templates were completed across five different research articles. Responses on the questionnaires and completed research templates were analyzed to determine clarity of the individual items and the overall function of the template and were used to make necessary modifications to the template itself. Results indicate that the designed research template is useful for clinicians consulting the research literature to inform their clinical practice decisions and to determine the level of quality of a study. Implications for the role of the template in educational and continuing music therapy education settings to promote evidence-based practice in the field of music therapy are discussed.
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- Music Dissertations and Theses 
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