An exploration into the perception of music interventions in hospitals amongst healthcare professionals

Music therapy in medical settings is on the rise, so what are doctors and other healthcare professionals perspectives of music therapy? In the study, “An Exploration into the Perception of Music Interventions in Hospitals Amongst Healthcare Professionals” Naomi Chadder conducted a survey to look into perceptions of music therapy in medical settings in the United Kingdom. 

Thirty-one healthcare professionals agreed to the study completing a face to face interview, an online survey, or an online survey with a follow up interview. Survey responses were collected from doctors, nurses, interdisciplinary staff, or other (educators, volunteers, physiotherapists, dietitians, and social workers). Responses were collected from hospitals where music therapy was in place and where little music or music therapy was used so multiple perspectives and experiences could be understood. 

Results of the interviews supports current research that “music is not used routinely” in acute medical settings and the most common form of live music used in hospitals was live vocal performances (such as carol singing). However, all survey participants believe music therapy is effective and a worthwhile treatment. The researchers think that policies, procedures, and misinformation about music therapy may lead to a lack of treatment in acute medical settings. 

Increased knowledge and exposure (that is observing or experiencing a music therapy session for themselves or family members) had a significant positive effect within the study on healthcare professionals views of music therapy. This means that trainings led by board-certified music therapists and encouraging medical professionals to observe music therapy sessions, may significantly impact the use of music in hospitals. This study supports and strengthens the need for music therapists, as well as patients/families and medical professionals who have experiences music therapy, to continue to advocate for the therapeutic/medical benefits and humanizing effects of music therapy. For more information about music therapy, please continue to or 

By Jessica Fletcher, MM, MT-BC

Chadder, N. (2019). An exploration into the perception of music interventions in hospitals amongst healthcare professionals. Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy 19(1).