Penn State Medical Center Engages Music to Treat Pain and Patient Anxiety

An installment of its “medical minute” series outlines the role of music therapy as a treatment modality at Penn State Health Milton Hersey Medical Center. As part of the Center’s Therapy Services, board certified music therapists are working to alleviate patients’ pain and anxiety levels, to advance their physical rehabilitation, and to help them adjust to the hospital setting. The modality is engaged in a clinical, evidence-based approach, in which therapists are referred from the treating clinician, and work in concert with the patient’s own treatment plan. Breathing and guided imagery can be combined with music to address pain and alleviate anxiety.

The benefits of music therapy for chronic pain management and its ability to promote movement and advance patients’ sense of well-being has been discussed for several years at the PAINWeek® National Conference. At the Milton Hersey Center, music therapists tailor their approach to the patient’s psychological state, cultural background, and personal music preferences to determine the style of music engaged, and whether it is passively presented or actively created by the patient. With respect to patients’ pain and anxiety, therapist Jan Stouffer comments, “We can help focus their attention away from that. It gives them an avenue for self-expression to share what they are thinking or feeling and work on developing coping strategies.”

Read the full article from Penn State Health here. 

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