Study finds music therapy brings effective pain relief for sickle cell patients
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CLEVELAND — A new study published in the Journal of Music Therapy reveals promising findings for the application of improvisational music therapy in assuaging the multidimensional acute pain of adult patients with sickle cell disease (SCD). This study, conducted by University Hospitals Connor Integrative Health Network’s music therapist Samuel Rodgers-Melnick, MT-BC, investigated the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of a single-session electronic music improvisation to diminish pain intensity and improve pain relief and mood in adults with SCD.

“Sickle cell pain is complex, affecting patients physically, emotionally, and socially,” said Jane Little, MD, Director of the Adult SCD Clinic at UH Seidman Cancer Center. “Our results support the value that music therapists contribute to our patients’ overall pain management and experience of care, just as they reinforce patient education and coping strategies. We find that patients typically respond better to a varied strategy, rather than medications alone.

“We are very enthusiastic about music therapy, and its promise for improving the lives of people who have sickle cell disease.”

In the randomized controlled trial, patients with SCD being treated in UH Seidman Cancer Center’s Acute Care Clinic were assigned to one of three 20-minute conditions: a session with a music therapist,

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