• Music therapy and mechanical ventilation: a survey of current practice

      DiIorio, Olivia (2022-08)
      Mechanical ventilation is a life support measure in which an endotracheal tube or tracheostomy is attached to a mechanical ventilator to mechanically breathe for an individual who has lost the ability to do so. The need for mechanical ventilation can be a result of respiratory illness, or a neurological impairment caused by a drug overdose, spinal cord or brain injury. This procedure results in many uncomfortable symptoms such as anxiety, pain, and delirium. The use of music listening to treat these symptoms has been researched showing an overall support for the implication of music. However, music therapy research with mechanically ventilated individuals is very limited. A survey was conducted to gain an understanding of current music therapy practice with mechanically ventilated individuals and to add to the knowledge base. Music therapists reported that the most common methods and goal addressed in music therapy were listening to live music and physiological entrainment to reduce anxiety. Music therapists also had a high rate of involvement during weaning trials. Current music medicine and music therapy research focus on the use of music listening to reduce anxiety as evidenced by both psychological and physiological changes such as heart rate, respiratory rate, and blood pressure. The responses provided by the music therapist’s surveyed mirrors current research on the methods used and goals addressed with mechanically ventilated patients further demonstrating the feasibility of music therapy for mechanically ventilated individuals. The present study can serve as a basis of knowledge for music therapists and medical professionals considering music therapy for mechanically ventilated individuals.