In a recent study, patients with COPD and other chronic respiratory disorders who received music therapy in conjunction with standard rehabilitation saw an improvement in symptoms, quality of life, and psychological well being when compared to patients who received only rehabilitation. The results of the study, conducted by researchers at The Louis Armstrong Center of Music and Medicine at Mount Sinai Beth Israel, suggest that music therapy may be an effective addition to traditional treatment. A total of 68 participants diagnosed with chronic respiratory diseases were included in the study.

A randomized group of the patients attended weekly music therapy sessions over the course of 6 weeks that included live music, visualizations, singing that incorporated breath control techniques, and wind instrument playing. Certified music therapists provided active music-psychotherapy. The music therapy sessions integrated the preferred music of patients, which encouraged self-expression, increased engagement in therapeutic activities, and provided an opportunity to cope with the challenges of a chronic disease, according to a Mount Sinai School of Medicine news release.

“The care of chronic illness is purposefully shifting away from strict traditional assessments that once focused primarily on diagnosis, morbidity and mortality rates,” says Joanne Loewy, DA, director of the Louis Armstrong Center for Music and Medicine at MSBI, where the study was conducted. “Instead, the care of the chronically ill is moving toward methods that aim to preserve and enhance quality of life of our patients and activities of daily living through identification of their culture, motivation, caregiver/home trends and perceptions of daily wellness routines.”

Jonathan Raskin, MD, co-author of the study and director of the Alice Lawrence Center for Health and Rehabilitation at MSBI, states, “Music therapy has emerged as an essential component to an integrated approach in the management of chronic respiratory disease. The results of this study provide a comprehensive foundation for the establishment of music therapy intervention as part of pulmonary rehabilitation care.”

Source: Mount Sinai School of Medicine