When reading or researching about music therapy, often specific details of the music or intervention may be left out or may be hard to describe due to the flexible, adaptable, and client centered nature of music therapy. In “Effects of Guitar Accompaniment Style on Working Alliance, Session Impact, and Pain with Hospitalized Patients on a Solid Organ Transplant Unit: A Randomized Pilot Study” Haack & Silverman (2017) look into specific music accompaniment and its effect on pain.
Post surgery, many organ transplant patients may experience anxiety, guilt, pain, and difficulty coping. Patient preferred live music (PPLM) has been shown to help treat psycho social needs for solid organ transplant patients. In this study, twenty patients in a teaching hospital were included in the study and chose from a list of 44 most commonly requested song list.
This study found that more favorable scores for the complex guitar accompaniment condition than the simple guitar accompaniment condition regarding positivity and arousal. While not significant, the complex guitar accompaniment did slightly outperform the simple guitar accompaniment in regards to pain, therapeutic relationship, depth, and smoothness. This study shows that specific guitar accompaniment presented by music therapist can be effective in positivity and arousal for patients post surgery who may be experiencing pain.
Another takeaway of this study, is that the musical intricacies and nuanced changes that music therapists have at their therapeutic disposal are incredibly important within medical music therapy practice. The deep music knowledge that music therapist have as part of their studies and certification along with the knowledge of how music functions in the brain, provides MT-BCs with the ability to make the necessary changes to respond to a patient’s needs is unique to music therapy within the broader umbrella of music medicine. For more information on music therapy please continue to centralohiomusictherapy.com or musictherapy.org.
By Jessica Fletcher, MM, MT-BC
Haack, B. W., & Silverman, M. J. (2017). Effects of Guitar Accompaniment Style on Working Alliance, Session Impact, and Pain With Hospitalized Patients on a Solid Organ Transplant Unit: A Randomized Pilot Study. Canadian Journal of Music Therapy,23, 10-21.