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What is the MATADOC?

The Music Therapy Assessment Tool for Awareness in Disorders of Consciousness (MATADOC) is a validated and standardized measurement tool for use with adults with disorders of consciousness.  Developed at the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability in London, the MATADOC provides a rigorous assessment of people whose awareness is difficult to clinically assess due to severe brain damage.

Unlike all other assessment tools for patients presenting with disorders of consciousness, the MATADOC uses music as the stimulus to elicit behavioral responses. The MATADOC does not rely on an ability to comprehend and respond to language as the relevant neurologic areas are frequently damaged as a result of an ABI. Music is a global neurological process and therefore can provide alternative neural pathways following ABI.

The MATADOC serves to improve the clinician and researcher’s ability to gauge the meaningfulness of responses in patients presenting with a disorder of consciousness. The MATADOC is standardized for use in the adult population and standardization with pediatric populations is currently being undertaken in the US and UK. It is also useful as an evaluation tool for long-term clinical work.


Which clients will the MATADOC be relevant for?

  • Adults and children with disorders of consciousness following brain injury
  • Advanced degenerative neurologic conditions e.g. Multiple Sclerosis, advanced stage Huntington’s Disease
  • Severe developmental neurologic conditions
  • Advanced dementia
  • Profound and multiple disabilities
  • Other conditions where awareness is compromised due to brain damage / cognitive deficit.


What does the course cover?

After the training the participant will demonstrate an understanding of:

  • Definitions and clinical presentations typical of disorders of consciousness; (BCD I.B.3)
  • Theories of consciousness, awareness and limbic responses; (BCD IV.B.2)
  • The range of standardized non-musical measures for use with DOC population (BCD IV. A.2)
  • The role and goals of music therapy in assessment and rehabilitation of people with DOC; (BCD I.C)
  • Recommendations for managing the clinical session with DOC populations, including administering the MATADOC protocol (BCD I.D.6)
  • Be able to complete all MATADOC documentation, including rating patient responses and providing a diagnostic outcome (BCD I.C.5)

Who is the trainer for the MATADOC Training?

The training is offered by primary MATADOC developer Associate Professor Wendy Magee. With over 25 years’ experience working in neurology, Dr Magee has extensive specialist clinical skills in this area and has pursued a range of research with adults and children with neurological conditions including traumatic brain injury, stroke, Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Huntington’s Disease, disorders of consciousness, and Locked-in Syndrome. Dr. Magee is widely published with over 40 articles in international peer-reviewed journals in the fields of rehabilitation, neuroscience and music therapy, 26 book chapters in edited volumes, training manuals in English and Spanish, and an edited book Music Technology in Therapeutic and Health Settings. She is a Cochrane reviewer on the topic of music interventions for acquired brain injury.

Dr. Magee currently serves on the editorial boards of Voices and Music Therapy Perspectives, and is a past Chair of the British Society for Music Therapy (2006 – 2010) during which time the BSMT transformed to the new organization of the British Association for Music Therapy. She has represented the Association of Professional Music Therapists in the UK for many years as an advisor on several governmental strategic working parties and multi-professional bodies.

Her current research and theoretical priorities include developing the evidence base for Music Therapy practice in neurology and rehabilitation, including developing and testing treatment methods and measurement tools, and within interdisciplinary practice.

How many days does the training take?

Three full days; May 20 – 22, 2016

Can MT-BC (board certified music therapists from UK, US, & CA) join this training?

Yes it is open to all qualified music therapists and other clinicians who have experience working with clients with disorders of consciousness.

Does this training allow me to use the MATADOC in clinical settings?

Yes. At the end of this training you will be ready to use the MATADOC with patients immediately. Completion of the Level 1 Introductory Certificate course allows participants to implement and interpret the MATADOC.

Are there more levels of training?

The Level 2 Competency Certificate awarded by the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability, in London is an advanced certificate awarded to those who are able to demonstrate adequate standards in understanding and implementing the MATADOC in both clinical practice and documentation.  It is achieved through developing a clinical portfolio and on line supervision with a recognized MATADOC supervisor.

Will I get continuing Music Therapy Education credits?

The course is currently being reviewed for CMTE credits by the Certification Board for Music Therapists.

Can students attend the MATADOC Training?

Yes, music therapy students can attend the MATADOC Training. However, students must have clinical/placement experience working with a population that presents with a disorder of consciousness. Students must also have their student status verified by their course director/lecturer.


What is the training fee?

A $375.00 registration fee payable to Memorial Hermann Hospital is due to reserve your spot in the course. Participants should expect to pay an additional $300.00 supervision fee at the time of supervision for a second level competency (to be completed between 3 and 6 months post course).

How do I register for the MATADOC Training?

This event has passed.

Can I register on the day of?

Yes, please be prepared with a check. No credit cards will be accepted for day of registrations.

Can I be invoiced?

No, payments must be made in advance of the course.

Can I defer payment?

No, payments must be made at the time of reservation.

What does my registration fee include?

Your registration includes one (1) copy of the MATADOC Training Manual, all worksheets required throughout the training, lunch, and morning and afternoon tea on the training days.

Refund Policy.

All purchases are final and there are no refunds.


Who do I contact if I have more questions?

Jennifer Townsend MMT, MT-BC
Senior Music Therapist, Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital
Phone: 713-704-6150


Is there any additional reading I should complete before undertaking the MATADOC Training?

Several articles will be provided as prerequisite reading which are marked with “*” below. An additional list of reading is also included that may enhance your understanding of the MATADOC before undertaking the training.

Selected references:

*Giacino, J. T., Ashwal, S., Childs, N., Cranford, R., Jennett, B., Katz, D. I., . . . Zasler, N. D. (2002). The minimally conscious state: Definition and diagnostic criteria. Neurology, 58(3), 349-353.

*Hirschberg, R., & Giacino, J. T. (2011). The vegetative and minimally conscious states: Diagnosis, prognosis and treatment. Neurologic Clinics, 29(4), 773-786. doi:10.1016/j.ncl.2011.07.009

Magee, W.L. (2007). Development of a music therapy assessment tool for patients in low awareness states. NeuroRehabilitation, 22(4), 319-324.

*Magee, W.L.  (2007). Music as a diagnostic tool in low awareness states: Considering limbic responses. Brain Injury, 21(6), 593-599.

*Magee, W.L (2005). Music therapy with patients in low awareness states: assessment and treatment approaches in multidisciplinary care. Neuropsychological Rehabilitation,15(3-4), 522-536.

Magee, W.L., Siegert, R.J., Lenton-Smith, G; Daveson, B.A., & Taylor, S.M. (2014). Music Therapy Assessment Tool for Awareness in Disorders of Consciousness (MATADOC): Standardization of the principal subscale to assess awareness in patients with disorders of consciousness. Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, 24 (1), 101-124.

O’Kelly,J,  James, L., Palaniappan, R., Taborin, J., & Fachner, J., & Magee, W.L. (2013) Neurophysiological and behavioral responses to music therapy in vegetative and minimally conscious states. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. 7:884. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2013.00884

O’Kelly, J. & Magee, W.L. (2013). The complementary role of music therapy in the detection of awareness in disorders of consciousness: an audit of concurrent SMART and MATADOC assessments. Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, (23) 2, 287-298.

O’Kelly, J. & Magee, W.L. (2013). Music therapy with people with disorders of consciousness and neuroscience: the need for dialogue. Nordic Journal of Music Therapy, 22(2), 93-106.