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Evaluating Mindfulness-Based Songwriting Intervention in Parents of Children with Developmental Disabilities (DSI-SRP)

Posted by on Sunday, August 15, 2021 in Completed Research, DSI-SRP, DSI-Supported Research, Natural and Life Sciences, Peabody College, School of Medicine, Social and Behavioral Sciences.

This DSI-SRP fellowship funded Zoe Crawley to work in the laboratory of Dr. Miriam Lense in the Department of Otolaryngology (VUMC) during the summer of 2021. Zoe is a senior with major in Cognitive Studies and minors in English: Creative Writing and Quantitative Methods.

The project funded by this fellowship aimed to analyze preliminary data from a novel telehealth stress-reduction intervention, Mindfulness-based Music and Songwriting (MBMS), for parents of children with developmental disabilities. Parents of children with developmental disabilities often experience high levels of stress, anxiety, and depression, and lower levels of well-being compared to parents of children with typical development. This 7-week, Zoom-based intervention uses music and songwriting to teach and apply mindfulness strategies. Measures of mental health and well-being are collected at Baseline, Post-intervention, and at a 4-week Follow Up. Zoe’s project focused on analyzing positive and negative affect (Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS)) measured at each of the intervention’s weekly sessions for n=12 participants in the preliminary MBMS study. MBMS sessions were immediate regulators of participant affect. Linear-mixed models indicate participants’ positive affect increased and negative affect decreased in response to individual MBMS sessions.  Additionally, when looking across the 7-weeks of the program, participants’ negative affect scores significantly decreased while their positive affect scores remained stable (see below graphs: PANAS positive and negative affect scores are plotted across sessions and the LMM trendline is marked in red, with confidence intervals in black.)  Preliminary results from MBMS pilot data support the continued analysis and investigation of this novel telehealth intervention for supporting mental health in this population.

These results will be used in Zoe’s Honors Thesis in Cognitive Studies, and are a building block for future analysis of the MBMS program. Zoe has also begun a language analysis project using song lyrics produced during MBMS sessions, with hopes to draw connections between mood-connected language drawn from an adapted NLP model and affect measured at each session.

In addition to receiving support through a DSI-SRP fellowship, this project was supported and facilitated by the DSI Data Science Team through their regular summer workshops and demo sessions.

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