Music as a supportive intervention is being increasingly recognised as a viable option to combat multiple health conditions. Social enterprise Think Cre8tive Group CIC started offering specialised intervention that combines the restorative power of music with clinical skills in both Bolton and Wakefield in 2018.
Since then, we have run sessions for care and residential homes as well as intergenerational music sessions (focus on reducing depression, anxiety, loneliness, isolation, experience of pain). In 2019 we were able to expand our programme of delivery into groups for new-mums-and-babies (focus on preventing and/or reducing post-natal depression) and men’s recovery groups (focus on self-esteem, confidence and value, social connection). We have had interest expressed by local mental health teams as well as interest in prison work, subject to funding.
Our methodology uses trained musicians and trained health care workers together to deliver co-created singing sessions for an hour to specific population groups. Carefully-planned programmes and a relaxed approach aid voluntary involvement. The potential to develop an ongoing community model exists, as we:
• actively recruit trained/experienced music and health volunteers
• produce and publish programme materials
• provide sponsored local community song-leader professional development, and
• offer a mobile app to encourage individuals and song-leaders to sing away from sessions.
We are looking for potential clinical partnerships to develop short- (5-6 week) or long-term (ongoing) condition-specific group interventions as we apply for suitable funding. More information is available on our website and social media: www.thinkcre8tivegroup.com.
How music provides clinical support
RENAL FAILURE AND COMPLICATIONS
Listening to music during hemodialysis sessions indicates a statistically significant difference in anxiety, blood pressure, heart and respiratory rate, with lower pain and nausea scores.
Musical intervention on anxiety and vital parameters of chronic renal patients: a randomised clinical trial, Melo et al, 2018
Effects of music on complicactions during hemodialysis for chronic renal failure patients, Koca Kutlu and Eren, 2014
STROKE / MUSCOSKELETAL
Sound-based interventions can induce biomechanical changes in motor behaviour in stroke patients, lowering anxiety and depression, and increasing hand strength and non-verbal relationships.
The influence of sound-based interventions on motor behaviour after stroke: a systemematic review, van Criekinge et al, 2019
Active music therapy approach for stroke patients in the post-acute rehabilitation, Raglio et al, 2017
ANTENATAL, NEONATAL, BABY/FAMILY CLINIC
Music is increasingly being used in paediatric health care (autism, disability, epilepsy, mental health, neonatal, neurorehabilitative, pain, anxiety, stress, oncology, palliative care), and positively affects physiologic indicators, feeding, length of stay, pain and parental stress.
Music therapy and other music-based interventions in pediatric health care: an overview, Stegemann et al 2019
Does music positively impact preterm infant outcomes, O’Toole et al, 2017
SUPPORT DURING TREATMENT
Music interventions reportedly decrease pain, stress, treatment-associated anxiety and improve heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure and quality of life.
Role of sonification and rhythmic auditory cueing for enhancing gait-associated deficits induced by neurotoxic cancer therapies: a perspective on auditory neuroprosthetics, Ghai and Ghai, 2019
The use of music therapy during the treatment of cancer patients: a collection of evidence, Boyde et al, 2012
Music interventions for improving psychological and physical outcomes in cancer patients, Bradt et al, 2016
Music therapy is recommended for anxiety, stress reduction, depression and mood disorders.
A clinical randomized controlled trial of music therapy and progressive muscle relaxation training in female breast cancer patients after radical mastectomy: results on depression, anxiety and length of hospital stay, Zhou et al 2015
Perioperative music and its effects on anxiety, hemodynamics and pain in women undergoing mastectomy, Bonns-Turner et al, 2011
Music calms, relieves distress, promotes relationships, enables self-care and hope in children.
Effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction combined with music therapy on pain, anxiety and sleep qusality in patients with osteosarcoma, Liu et al, 2019
Parents’ perspectives on their child’s music therapy: a qualitative study, Annesley, 2020
LONG TERM MANAGEMENT
CHRONIC ILLNESS PAIN MANAGEMENT
Music can elevate mood, improve motivation, increasing feelings of control and reduced pain, potentially as a result of distraction, relaxation, positive emotion or a combination.
Effect of music on chronic osteoarthritis pain in older people, McCaffrey R, Freeman E, 2003
Functional connectivity of music-induced analgesia in fibromyalgia, Pando-Naude et al, 2019
Music may reduce depression, improve behavioural problems and over all quality of life in dementia, while singing may be an effective cueing technique for improving gait in Parkinson’s.
Music-based therapeutic interventions for people with dementia, Steen et al, 2018
The feasibility of singing to improve gait in Parkinson disease, Harrison et al, 2018
Recreational music making impacts 12 molecular pathways (immune function and gene expression), while music intervention reduces systolic blood pressure from 144mmHg to 134mmHg, and diastolic blood pressure from 84mmHg to 78mmHg.
Recreational music-making alters gene expression pathways in patients with coronary heart disease, Bittman B et al, 2013
Systematic review and meta-analysis of music interventions in hypertension treatment, Kühlmann AYR et al, 2019
ASTHMA, COPD, LUNG DISEASE
Weekly community singing for participants with COPD provides evidence of improved exercise capacity, reduced anxiety, and reduced GP visits, hospital admissions and assessment tests.
Sing Your Lungs Out – a community singing group for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a 1-year pilot study, McNaughton et al, 2017
Singing for lung health: service evaluation of the British Lung Foundation programme, Lewis et al, 2018
MENTAL HEALTH INTERVENTION
ANXIETY, DEPRESSION, AGITATION, LONELINESS
Music interventions significantly reduced the experience of preoperative anxiety (equivalent to 21mm on a 100mm visual scale), while group music sessions showed significant improvements in participants with depression.
Meta-analysis evaluating music interventions for anxiety and pain in surgery, Kühlmann et al, 2018
Reviewing the effectiveness of music interventions in treating depression, Leubner and Hinterberger, 2017
SPEECH & LANGUAGE INTERVENTION
LANGUAGE DELAY / SPECIFIC LANGUAGE IMPAIRMENT
Music intervention significantly improves language impairment post stroke and may be useful in diagnosis and intervention in children with specific language impairment.
The Therapeutic effect of neurologic music therapy and speech language therapy in post-stroke aphasic patients, Lim et al, 2013
Music perception influences language acquisition: melodic and rhythmic-melodic perception in children with specific language impairment, Sallat and Jentschke, 2015
Frances Turnbull, Melanie Cossins and Pamela Eaton have an education master’s, healthcare master’s, and advanced music (Kodály) training, with qualifications in nursing and psychology.