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The Healing Power of Music

Music has healing power. It has the ability to take people out of themselves for a few hours.” – Elton John

Armed with a project grant from The Hospital Research Foundation (THRF) and the Centre for Creative Health* (CCH), Adelaide University’s music therapist Dr Patsy Tan is lifting patients’ lives with music.

Dr Tan is focusing on music therapy as an intervention in clinical practice to alleviate pain and anxiety for post-operative patients at the Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH).

“Music therapy intervention has an important role to play because of its positive influence on pain and physiologic effects on the body,” Dr Tan said.

“I believe music therapy will decrease the perception of pain and anxiety in patients, improve quality of life and reduce hospital stays.

“These expected research outcomes will hopefully give music therapy the recognition it deserves as an appropriate clinical strategy aiding patients’ healing and recovery.”

Dr Tan said a variety of people will benefit from her project, including:

  • Patients through decreased pain perception and anxiety
  • Clinical staff by providing an additional option when working to manage patient pain
  • The Central Adelaide Local Health Network by providing a viable music therapy program that will add significantly to patient care and other arts and health initiatives already underway, which are complementary to its science and health research
  • The South Australian community by having access to the most up to date and latest options for pain management, as cities like Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane already have music therapy embedded in hospitals
  • The music therapy profession through broader clinical recognition of its health benefits and potential application across South Australian hospitals.

 

“I’m excited to share my research findings and make an impact on patients, clinicians and the South Australian communities,” Dr Tan said.

“I’m grateful for the funding I received from THRF and CCH and believe that my research will make a positive impact on patients to improve their quality of life in hospital.”

*The Centre for Creative Health is a charity of The Hospital Research Foundation Group.