Research

Developing Holistic Care for Long-term Conditions

Developing Holistic Care for Long-term Conditions focuses on how to help people with long-term health conditions cope more effectively. It brings together physical and mental health, offering a holistic approach for students and practitioners in a variety of care settings.

Music therapy for end-of-life care

Organisation: 
Creative Arts Therapies, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, USA. Department of Music Therapy and The Arts and Quality of Life Research Center, Boyer College of Music and Dance, Temple University, Philadelphia, USA

Music therapy is increasingly used in end-of-life care, with a growing number of music therapists being employed in hospices and hospital-based palliative care programs each year. Music therapy in end-of-life care aims to improve a person's quality of life by helping relieve symptoms, addressing psychological needs, offering support and comfort, facilitating communication, and meeting spiritual needs. In addition, music therapists assist family and caregivers with coping, communication, and grief/bereavement.

Music during caesarean section under regional anaesthesia for improving maternal and infant outcomes

Organisation: 
Department of Biostatistics and Demography, Faculty of Public Health, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand. Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand. School of Midwifery, Faculty of Health Sciences, Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology, Christchurch, New Zealand. Department of Otolaryngology, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand. Department of Adult Nursing, Faculty of Nuring, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand

Women having a caesarean section under regional anaesthesia are often highly anxious during the operation and may feel some discomfort. Listening to relaxing music of the woman's choice may lead to better outcomes and less need for treatment.  The review findings indicate that listening to music during planned caesarean section under regional anaesthesia may improve pulse rates and birth satisfaction scores, although the effect sizes were not large enough to indicate a clinically beneficial effect.

Music interventions for mechanically ventilated patients

Organisation: 
The Arts and Quality of Life Research Center, Boyer College of Music and Dance, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, USA. Department of Music Therapy and The Arts and Quality of Life Research Center, Boyer College of Music and Dance, Temple University, Philadelphia, USA. Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Cochrane Anaesthesia Group

Mechanical ventilation often causes major distress and anxiety in patients, putting them at greater risk for complications. Side effects of analgesia and sedation may lead to the prolongation of mechanical ventilation and, subsequently, to a longer length of hospitalization and increased cost. Therefore, non-pharmacological interventions should be considered for anxiety and stress management. This review included eight randomized and quasi-randomized controlled trials with a total of 213 participants.

Music for stress and anxiety reduction in coronary heart disease patients

Organisation: 
The Arts and Quality of Life Research Center, Boyer College of Music and Dance, Temple University, Philadelphia, USA

Individuals with coronary heart disease often suffer from severe distress putting them at greater risk for complications, including sudden cardiac death. This review included 23 randomized controlled trials with a total of 1461 participants. The findings suggest that music listening may have a beneficial effect on blood pressure and heart rate in people with coronary heart disease. Music listening also appears to be effective in reducing anxiety in myocardial infarction patients. No evidence for anxiety-reducing effects of music was found for patients undergoing cardiac procedures.

Music for pain relief

Organisation: 
Pharmacoepidemiology, Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development, Titussville, NJ, USA. Department of Anesthesia, Tufts Medical Center, Boston, USA. New England Medical Centre/Tufts Evidence-based Practice Center Institute for Clinical Research and Health Policy Studies, Tufts Medical Centre, Boston, MA, USA. Anesthesia, Javeriana University, Bogota, Colombia

Music should not be considered a first line treatment for pain relief as the magnitude of its benefits is small. Listening to music for treatment of pain offers potential advantages of low cost, ease of provision, and safety. This systematic review included 51 studies involving 3663 subjects. The review authors found that music reduced pain, increased the number of patients who reported at least 50% pain relief, and reduced requirements for morphine-like analgesics.

Music therapy for depression

Organisation: 
Arts Therapies, Central and Northwest London Foundation NHS Trust, London, UK. Grieg Academy, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway. Department of Psychological Medicine, Imperial College London, London, UK

Music therapy has been used in a range of ways to treat depression. Approaches can be active or receptive: active techniques might be used when participants cannot articulate difficult feelings. Here the therapist uses clinical techniques to connect with the patient in an improvised dialogue, which can then act as a springboard to emotional awareness. Receptive techniques involve the use of pre-composed music for relaxation, reflection, guided reminiscence and change of mood state.

Music therapy for people with autistic spectrum disorder

Organisation: 
Grieg Academy Music Therapy Research Centre (GAMUT), Unifob Health, Bergen, Norway. Institute of Music and Music Therapy, University of Aalborg, Aalborg, Denmark. Grieg Academy Department of Music, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway

People with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have difficulties with communication, behaviour and/or social interaction. Music therapy uses music and its elements to enable people to communicate and to express their feelings. In this way music therapy addresses some of the core problems of people with ASD. This review set out to assess the evidence for the effectiveness of music therapy for individuals with ASD.  Three small studies were included which examined the short-term effect of brief music therapy interventions for autistic children.

Art therapy for schizophrenia or schizophrenia-like illnesses

Organisation: 
Academic Unit of Psychiatry & Behavioural Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK. Acomb Medical Centre, York, UK

Most people with schizophrenia or schizophrenia-like illnesses will be treated with medication, although on average, 5-15% will continue to experience symptoms in spite of this. This review explores whether art therapy, one of a number of creative therapies, could be beneficial when used in addition to medication. The British Association of Art Therapists definition of Art Therapy is "the use of art materials for self-expression and reflection in the presence of a trained art therapist.

Music therapy for people with dementia

Organisation: 
Music Therapy Dept., Saxion Hogeschool, Enschede, Netherlands. Centre for Statistics in Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK. Enschede, Netherlands. Dutch Cochrane Centre, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, Netherlands

There is no substantial evidence to support nor discourage the use of music therapy in the care of older people with dementia. The specific focus was to assess whether music therapy can diminish behavioural and cognitive problems or improve social and emotional functioning. Five studies have been included in this review which claim that music therapy is beneficial for treating older people with dementia. However, the methodological quality of these small, short-term studies was generally poor, as was the presentation of results. No useful conclusions can be drawn.

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Supported using public funding by the Arts Council England