Volume 12 (1) 2020 – Article (first published on 27 June 2018)
“Sounds good, but… what is it?” An introduction to outcome measurement from a music therapy perspective
Neta Spiro, Giorgos Tsiris & Charlotte Cripps
“Sounds good, but… what is it?” This is a common reaction to outcome measurement by music therapy practitioners and researchers who are less familiar with its meanings and practices. Given the prevailing evidence-based practice movement, outcome measurement does ‘sound good’. Some practitioners and researchers, however, have a limited or unclear understanding of what outcome measurement includes; particularly with respect to outcome measures and related terminology around their use. Responding to the “what is it?” question, this article provides an introduction to such terminology. It explores what outcome measures are and outlines characteristics related to their forms, uses and selection criteria. While pointing to some debates regarding outcome measurement, including its philosophical underpinnings, this introduction seeks to offer a useful platform for a critical and contextual understanding of the potential use of outcome measures in music therapy.
outcome measures, measurement, terminology, introduction, music therapy
Neta Spiro, PhD, is Research Fellow in Performance Science at the Royal College of Music. She is an Affiliated Researcher at the Centre for Music and Science, Faculty of Music, University of Cambridge and was previously Head of Research at Nordoff Robbins England and Wales.
Giorgos Tsiris, PhD, is Head of Research at Nordoff Robbins Scotland, Senior Lecturer in Music Therapy at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh, and Knowledge Exchange Fellow at the Centre for the Arts as Wellbeing, University of Winchester.
Charlotte Cripps holds an MA in Music as Development and was previously a research team member at Nordoff Robbins England and Wales, where she is currently studying music therapy.