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Music in health – how it is helping

The power of music in health was explored and at the heart of discussions once again at the recent Music and Memory Symposium at the Sydney Opera House.

Music can bring many benefits to patients (Source: Shutterstock)
Music can bring many benefits to patients (Source: Shutterstock)

As part of the key event, the results of a recent Music and Arts trial, brought about by a partnership between Arts Health Institute and the New South Wales Agency for Clinical Innovation (ACI), were announced.

The trial implemented the Music and Memory program within 21 clinical settings at 10 NSW Local Health Districts over 12 months.

ACI’s Raj Verma spoke about the surprising lessons learnt about improving a patient’s journey while the NSW Minister for Health and Minister for Medical Research; Brad Hazzard acknowledged that the arts played a valuable role in healthcare.

“The NSW public health system recognises the positive contribution that the arts can make to wellbeing,” he says.

“I’m delighted that this program is being used in our hospitals and health facilities.

“We know that music can bring many benefits to patients, including reducing depression and pain to even decreasing the need for some medications.”

Other highlights from the symposium included the film launch of ‘Music and Memory for Health’ by Arts Health Institute CEO, Dr Maggie Haertsch.

“[We saw] remarkable changes in the patient experience of their care by simply providing their personalised playlist of music using and iPod and headphones,” Ms Haertsch explains.

“We are leading the way worldwide by developing this approach to music listening in acute healthcare settings on a large scale.

“Music and Memory enables staff to provide even better care leading to greater happiness and satisfaction at work.”

A number of representatives from Music and Memory accredited sites in NSW Health attended the event.

Since its introduction in 2015, the Music and Arts program is now in over 115 accredited health and aged care organisations around Australia.

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