Music Therapy: What Works
are results of several influential studies on music therapy:
- In the treatment of heart disease, music has
been used as a pacemaker, helping hearts to achieve proper rhythms in two
studies, by Haas in 1980 and Bason in 1992. It also reduces anxiety in
heart attack patients. However, there is a relative lack of RCTs on music
therapy for heart disease. Furthermore, some studies show that music was
no more effective than bed rest for heart patients.
- A 1993 RCT by Dr. Thomas Lord and Dr. Jane
Garner of Alzheimer's patients indicated that music therapy enhanced
memory of past events and improved mood.
- From a 1994 study by Dr. Karen Allen and Dr. Jim
Blascovih, a JAMA article
indicated that when music was used in operating rooms, patients had fewer
postsurgical complications, with less pain and shorter hospital stays.
- Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary
disease showed significant gains in ability to endure exercise when music
therapy was used, according to a 1995 study by Thornby at the New York
University School of Medicine.
- Music therapy appears to be quite helpful for
chronic pain. In one RCT by Dr. Lani Zimmerman and Dr. Bunny Pozehl in
1989, it reduced not only suffering but also the physical sensation of
pain, leading researchers to believe it had directly affected sensory
perception. In another study, it apparently raised the pain threshold of
rheumatoid arthritis patients.
- A 1997 pilot study funded by NCCAM showed that
patients with chronic brain damage responded to music therapy with less
depression and more empathy for others. However, their cognitive abilities
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BEST ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: WHAT WORKS? WHAT DOES NOT? by Dr. Kenneth R.
Copyright © 2000 by Dr. Kenneth R.
Reprinted by permission of Simon & Schuster,
Inc., New York, New York.
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