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Music and Medicine

Long-term care workers find stress relief in Music; Landmark Study could save industry 1.46 Billion

American Music Conference 2007
The Recreational Music Making (RMM) program drastically reduced employee burnout and turnover.  The study revealed that the program decreased total mood disturbance by 46%.  This improvement could result in an 18.3 percent reduction in employee turnover, which would save the average 100-bed facility more than $89,000 a year—and the entire long-term care industry as much as $1.46 billion annually.  In the U.S. the employee turnover rate is typically 40-60% annually.

6.3 Billion Dollars Could Be Saved by Adding More Music Programs in Health Care

Gene Cohen, Arts and Health.  Volume 1, Issue 1, March 2009
A multi state, 2 year study in the US has been published in the Journal Arts and Heath in February monitored medication usage of two groups- one group that resided in long term care and one group that resided in long term care AND participated in a regular group music program 3 times per week. The participants in the music program 3 times per week reported a higher overall rating off physical health, fewer doctors visits, less medication used, and fewer instances of falls compared to the control group.  The author of the study suggests that if all persons who fall under what is classified as Medicare D  (national health coverage for those aged 65 and older in the US) participated in the music program with similar results as in the study – then the savings would equal 6.3 billion dollars.

Music to Your Ears? Study Shows Music Therapy May Reduce Tinnitus

We know that music therapy is beneficial in a variety of diseases and afflictions. For example, it has been proven to speed up the recovery after strokes, in heart disease, and epilepsy. It has also been known to alleviate pain, manage stress, and improve memory. Now, German researchers claim that personalized music therapy may be beneficial for people suffering from tinnitus.This innovative approach is based on recent findings that suggest reorganization of the auditory cortex, the part of the brain responsible for perceiving sound, may possibly cause tinnitus. Thirty-nine patients who took part in the study carried out at Westphalian Wilhelms University in Munster, suffered from chronic tinnitus for an average of five years but had no other hearing problems. They were divided into three groups and were offered the modified music therapy (which means it was “notched” — a one-octave frequency band, centered on the frequency of the ringing experienced by the subject, was filtered out), a dummy version of music therapy, or their usual treatment. Those who listened to the modified music for an average of 12 hours a week reported a significant drop in the level of tinnitus-related noises. Based on these findings, the study concluded that the notched music approach “can be considered as enjoyable, low cost, and presumably causal treatment that is capable of specifically reducing tinnitus loudness.” Whether or not this method is effective for all tinnitus sufferers remains to be seen, but it may offer a ray of hope to some.  MORE

Seven Ways Music Breaks Can Improve Your Health

Unplugging from the daily rigors of life and recharging with music may be one of the most beneficial things to do for your body. Recent studies show that music may have a beneficial effect on your body’s immunity and overall health. This then gives your body a better chance to fight off disease and protect itself against the attacks of many illnesses. Huffington Post columnist Srinivasan-Pillay offers some ways in which unplugging from stress and recharging with music may improve your life—including ones that impact your health in surprising ways.
Huffington Post, May 11, 2010 MORE

Acoustic Convalescence

One of the highlights of this year’s Abu Dhabi Festival was Music and Medicine, a concert and symposium by the renowned Cleveland Clinic’s Arts and Medicine Institute, which took place last week.  The US clinic, due to open a hospital in Abu Dhabi in 2012, is at the forefront of the groundbreaking new field of music therapy, as Dr. Iva Fattorini, the executive director of its Arts and Medicine Institute, explains.  “We founded a formal music therapy program about 15 years ago. It started in our palliative care unit and has expanded to the majority of our departments.”  So convinced are the clinic’s staff of music’s healing properties that it permeates every nook and cranny of the facility, from the public performances to the groups of musicians who play for targeted groups of patients in the evenings.  But the use of music in medicine goes far beyond its traditional calming influence – clinicians across the globe increasingly recognize music’s therapeutic potential for a wide variety of conditions, especially neurological disorders.
The National Newspaper, Abu Dhabi, Apr 04, 2010 MORE

Music Therapy Lowers Blood Pressure and Reduces Reinfarction Rates in ACS

Researchers at the European Society of Cardiology 2009 Congress showed that music therapy reduced blood pressure, heart rate, and patient anxiety and had a significant effect on future events, including reinfarction and sudden death, in acute coronary syndrome patients who underwent revascularization. In this study, lead investigator Dr. Predrag Mitrovic (University of Belgrade, Serbia) and his colleagues provided data on their seven-year experience with using music therapy in patients with acute coronary syndrome who had undergone revascularization.  Patients who listened to music had statistically significant reductions in systolic and diastolic blood pressures and heart rate. Patients who listened to music also had significantly less angina, less heart failure, and lower rates of reinfarction, sudden death, and revascularization.
Heartwire, Sept 4, 2009 MORE