Author ORCID Identifier

Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Social Work (DSW)


Military personnel can sometimes be put in dangerous situations that expose them to various types of traumas. Due to the nature of their work, veterans may be at a higher risk for developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD is a complex and challenging mental health disorder with symptoms that evolve with time. Geriatric veterans with PTSD are a particular population with unique needs that require attention and care. Music therapy is explored as a potential intervention to increase geriatric veterans' quality of life with PTSD.

Product One was a systematic review that examined the effectiveness of music therapy in improving the quality of life in geriatric non-veterans. The purpose of conducting a systematic review was to explore how music therapy impacted geriatric non-veterans in cognition, depression, anxiety, wellbeing, and mood. Conclusions from these findings were used to suggest that music therapy may be beneficial for geriatric veterans with PTSD.

Product Two was a conceptual paper that explored the theories that inform music therapy. Because music therapy is not considered a frontline therapy for PTSD, this work highlights how music therapy is beneficial for geriatric non-veterans and discusses the potential when applied to geriatric veterans with PTSD. Conclusions are drawn to suggest that music therapy should be explored as a viable treatment option for geriatric veterans with PTSD.

Product Three was an application paper that focused on how stigma and attrition may be impacting the effectiveness and engagement of evidence-based treatments. Music therapy for treating PTSD is discussed. The theories supporting music therapy were explored, and a case study was examined to display the potential of improvisation for communication and self-expression. Implications and recommendations for using music therapy to treat geriatric veterans with PTSD in social work practice are discussed.

Available for download on Thursday, May 02, 2024

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