Music in Healthcare Evidence Review

Author(s):*Listed Alphabetically
Youth Music

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Youth Music

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This evidence review examines the benefits of music in healthcare settings and was put together by Youth Music. It includes a short exploration of available literature, followed by analysis of evaluation reports and case studies submitted to Youth Music from their funded projects in which music-making is offered to children and young people receiving treatment in a healthcare setting. Existing literature was sourced through academic journals (both online and in print), the websites of Youth Music grant holders, and blogs/links on the Youth Music Network. With the exception of a small number of articles, there is an absence of academic literature focusing only on children, so most of the existing literature selected for this report concerns adults who have taken part in controlled studies. Similarly, there are fewer published academic research reports of studies undertaken in hospitals or other healthcare settings than in controlled environments. However, much of the literature reviewed in this report demonstrates the ways in which music can have a positive effect on physiological symptoms.

The evidence reviewed here is taken from information submitted by eight Youth Music funded projects, delivered by seven separate organisations: 12 milestone and final evaluation reports, and eight case studies.

The review identifies some of the key outcomes emerging from the projects. It concludes that music can play a key part in improving a young person’s stay in hospital; supporting personal development, socialisation and interaction with other children on the ward, providing distraction from painful or uncomfortable procedures, and relieving boredom and tension. Positive benefits are also experienced by the adults around the children, including parents of ill children, hospital staff, visiting musicians and organisations providing music provision.

Evidence Type: Case Study

Main Focus: Wellbeing / Quality of life

Research Purpose: Outcome Evaluation

Context: Hospital

Participant Group: Children (0-15)

Art Forms: Music

Access Type: Free Download