Music Therapy in Hospital Settings

Music Therapy -  delivered by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program - can provide wide-ranging benefits to hospital patients with a variety of afflictions. The MT, works with a team of medical professionals to augment their services – making unique contributions to patient care. Using an array of clinical & evidence-based techniques, instruments $ interventions, the MT can help each patient with stress, recovery, breathing, speech, or whatever the patient's needs may be. Crossing multiple areas of treatment effective in facilitating healthy outcomes, this creative art therapy uses each patient’s favorite music to promote the most successful results.

The cost of hiring an MT is more than offset by the lowering of per patient cost - because music therapy results in a decrease in patient medication (duration and dosage) and length of stay. Plus music therapy enhances patient quality of life (often with pain reduction) as well as family members’ hospital experience. In the University of Kentucky Healthcare System, where I did my MT training, there are 3 full-time MTs who help improve patient satisfaction, quality of care and operating costs. In the study cited below:

  1.  MT reduced cost per patient in hospice by $2,984 while improving patient experiences. The program itself cost $3,615, resulting a cost-benefit ratio of .83 and a cost-per-patient-day ratio of .95.

  2. MT for procedural support slashed cost of an echocardiogram in children by $74.24. Children assisted by an MT were able to complete echocardiograms without the need for medication and an RN.

  3. NICU MT cut an average of $10,000 off costs of a NICU stay, saving the hospital money, saving the family money, saving the cost of insurance premiums and, most importantly, improving better outcomes for baby and parents.
    Walworth, D. D. (2005). Procedural-support music therapy in the healthcare setting: a cost–effectiveness analysis. Journal of Pediatric Nursing, 20(4

Here is a truncated list of afflictions with proven music therapy interventions:

  1. Aphasia –  Because music activates both brain hemisphere's it is the perfect vehicle with which to "reach" patients with aphasia. See Gabby Gifford's interview with Diane Sawyer:

  2. Breathing Issues – MT Iso-Principle techniques can significantly lower blood pressure and respiratory rate.

  3. Drug dependency – MT Lyric Analysis exposes substance abuse clients to the experiences of non-drug-induced emotions, enhanced by MT-led group discussions about coping and healthy choices.

  4. Palliative – MT uses the strength of music (the last memory to go) for care through live music and prompting.Trypophobia/Hemophobia – MT is effective in the reduction of needle-related procedures through shifting the patient’s focus of attention and creating peace and harmony.

  5. Trypophobia/Hemophobia – MT is effective in the reduction of needle-related procedures through shifting the patient’s focus of attention and creating peace and harmony.