Abstract of Talk: Mindful music listening, cognitive recovery and mood post-stroke: findings from the MELLO study

Low mood and cognitive deficits are common after stroke yet very few evidence-based therapies alleviating these difficulties exist. Initial evidence suggests that daily music listening may improve mood and cognitive recovery post-stroke. The mechanism of this effect, or if it is reliable, however is not clear. Our group speculated that music listening may work by enhancing attentional control in a similar way to mindfulness interventions, that have been demonstrated to be beneficial in the treatment of mood disorders. In this talk, I will present a summary of the findings from the MELLO study, funded by the Dunhill Medical Trust. MELLO investigated the feasibility and acceptability of combining music listening with brief mindfulness training, within a randomised controlled trial (RCT) context, early post stroke. The study participants (n=72) were randomised to receive an 8-week daily listening intervention of mindful music listening, music listening or audiobook listening during the initial months after stroke. Their mood and cognition were assessed at baseline, 3-months and 6-months post-stroke, and they were interviewed about their experience of engaging in the interventions. The theoretical and practical implications of the findings will be discussed.