Music in Nursing: Positive Effects and Innovative Strategies

Introduction

The art of music has always enticed people due to the effect that it has on emotions. Building a deep connection on a personal level with a particular music art piece, one responds to a melody that resonates with one’s feelings and is connected to one’s experiences (Bradt et al. 1262). Because of the specified effects, music is used in a range of domains as the tool for stimulating one’s emotional responses, nursing not being an exception (Liu and Petrini 714). By utilizing music therapy in a nursing setting, one can improve outcomes for the patients that suffer from chronic pain due to the relaxing effects that the suggested intervention has.

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Music and Nursing

However, it would be a mistake to claim that music is used in nursing solely for addressing the needs of patients with chronic pain. While the application of music therapy to reduce painful experiences is widely used, music therapy has also been proven to have a positive effect on patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease (Bradt et al. 1268).

Similarly, the identified approach is utilized to cater to the needs of patients with schizophrenia and autism (Heijden et al. 826). In fact, the identified approach is viewed as an essential part of managing the needs of patients with mental health issues, in general. Furthermore, music is seen as a possible constituent of the therapy for patients with musculoskeletal problems; because of the opportunities that playing musical instruments offers regarding hand and body movement, music therapy is seen as a possible component of managing osteoporosis, arthritis, and other similar health problems (Liu and Petrini 716).

Effects of Music

The effects of music interventions on patients in the palliative care setting are rather impressive. While music does not reduce the pain, it alleviates negative experiences by helping patients to shift their focus from pain to other experiences. For instance, a recent study points to the fact that the application of the proposed approach in nursing leads to a noticeable drop in the levels of anxiety and postsurgical stress among inpatients (Bradt et al. 1266). The identified information is indicative of the vast opportunities that music therapy opens to nurses regarding the management of patients’ needs. The propensity among inpatients listening to music toward having a lower heart rate and blood pressure level prove that music therapy can and should be utilized to create a safe healthcare setting.

The positive impact that music therapy has on patients with different health concerns is typically explained by the changes in patients’ emotional states (Heijden et al. 824). The opportunity for emotional identification and the recognition of one’s ability to emote serves as the key steps toward managing major mental health issues (Liu and Petrini 716). Therefore, music can be seen as a phenomenon that not only has a soothing effect but also offers its listeners the opportunity to introspect into their personality. The chance to engage in a metacognitive process can also be seen as the factor that makes music therapy especially important for people with mental health issues. Developing the ability to recognize their emotions and accept them, patients with mental health issues gain a deep insight into the nature of their health issues. Consequently, the platform for the efficient management of a disorder emerges.

Music-Based Therapies

As a rule, most music therapies used in the context of the present-day healthcare environment involve the use of sound reproducers. These may include MP3 players and IT tools, as well as less advanced technology. However, there are other options, such as live music, for addressing the needs of patients in a nursing setting. As Heijden et al. explain, live music therapy has a positive effect on children suffering from burns (831). Specifically, the researchers explain that music needs to be used during wound care treatment as some of the least pleasant procedures that children with burns must undergo (Heijden et al. 830). Although the identified approach can be seen as resource-consuming, it has a direct and positive effect on the emotional responses of children suffering from burns. For instance, the process of wound treatment becomes faster and less traumatizing for the target demographic (Heijden et al. 823). Consequently, the adoption of music therapy as the substitute for traditional pain-alleviating treatment will have to be seen as possible.

Furthermore, music therapy may imply the participation of patients as well. For example, according to the research conducted by Bradt et al. (1263), patients with cancer experienced significant improvements after being given an opportunity to play musical instruments. Due to the emotional responses that music causes, cancer patients focus on positive feelings and emotions, which improves the quality of their lives.

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Conclusion

Music has a profound impact on people’s emotions and relevant experiences, which means that it can be utilized to make the quality of nursing services better. Music therapy provides patients with a chance to relax and engage in self-concentration. Consequently, music therapy can be used to alleviate patients’ pain, reduce the levels of stress and anxiety among them, and create the setting for faster recovery. Music is an important factor determining the emotional well-being of a patient, which means that it needs to be included in the set of strategies used by nurses to cater to patients’ needs.

Works Cited

Bradt, Joke, et al. “The Impact of Music Therapy versus Music Medicine on Psychological Outcomes and Pain in Cancer Patients: A Mixed Methods Study.” Supportive Care in Cancer, vol. 23, no. 5, 2015, pp. 1261-1271.

Heijden, Marianne J. E. V. D., et al. “Can Live Music Therapy Reduce Distress and Pain in Children with Burns after Wound Care Procedures? A Randomized Controlled Trial.” Burns, vol. 44, no. 4, 2018, pp. 823-833.

Liu, Yang, and Marcia A. Petrini. “Effects of Music Therapy on Pain, Anxiety, and Vital Signs in Patients after Thoracic Surgery.” Complementary Therapies in Medicine, vol. 23, no. 5, 2015, pp. 714-718.

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